What’s next in history of economics? A wish list

Beatrice Cherrier an upcoming economic hisotrian has a wishlist:

I just defended my habilitation, a rite de passage meant to evaluate an academic’s ability to develop a research program, to mentor graduate students and to hold a professorship. It’s a long process which begins with writing a thesis and ends up with answering two hours of questions from a peer jury. Part of the discussion looks like an unbounded meditation on the intellectual challenges ahead, with questions on methodology and future topics, yet the other is about navigating the financial and institutional constraints besetting the field, and they are especially critical in history of economics. The whole thing involves a deal of reflexivity and an insane amount of red tape.

 Below is the list of topics I wrote down when preparing the defense, those I wish to see historians of recent economics research in the years to come. It is more a wish list than an actual research program. Some of these topics are difficult to approach absent adequate archival data. And as a historian of science, I know all too well that research programs never developed as planned, and are largely shaped by data and coauthors found along the way. As it reflects my field of expertise, it’s all postwar, mostly mainstream and mostly American.

Some interesting ideas there.

We need similar ongoing programs in Indian economic history too. It is sad that much of economic history is seen only from a 1991 prism. Whereas India is a goldmine to look at various economic arguments given the huge diversity.

It is sad that Indian economic history is barely taught in most Indian universities and colleges. There are actually higher chances of one knowing American economic history much better than Indian version. This is obviously because we only tend to study books from the west  where  authors do give snippets on history…


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