The Mediterranean Response to Globalization before 1950

The Mediterranean Response to Globalization before 1950

The Mediterranean Response to Globalization before 1950

The Mediterranean Response to Globalization before 1950


This volume explores the challenges and opportunities presented by globalisation events prior to 1950. It identifies how countries around the Meditteranean responded to them.


Globalization challenge and economic response in the Mediterranean

Şevket Pamuk and Jeffrey G. Williamson

As the process of economic integration between Europe and the Mediterranean advances into a new century, it becomes increasingly urgent for economic historians to try to shed more light on current policy debates by improving our understanding of the past. As if in response to this call, recent research on the economic history of Spain, Portugal and Italy has exploded. Alas, the same cannot be said of the rest of the Mediterranean, since the long-run economic experience of what are now called the Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa remain too little studied by economists and economic historians.

This fact motivated our organizing a three-day conference which met at the Old Ottoman Mint in Istanbul on 4-6 June 1998. the guiding focus common to all the papers was to better understand the globalization challenges and opportunities that the Mediterranean faced prior to 1950, and how the region responded to them. This focus included dimensions of international trade, international capital mobility, technology diffusion, and policy response. Furthermore, the papers tried to assess country performance comparatively. Our goal was to provoke new research on the region, research which was more quantitative and analytical than has been true of past scholarship, and more comparative as well. Certainly the time is ripe: if economic history is going to inform policy around the Mediterranean, and between it and eastern and western Europe, a collective debate about the sources and impact of Mediterranean economic change over the past two centuries must begin now.

We hope that this volume will serve as a beacon for more analytical and quantitative work on the economic history of the Mediterranean basin. the thirteen papers deal with a number of interrelated themes regarding long-run economic change, but globalization issues are common to all of them. the first three of these focus on the performance of the Mediterranean in relation to the rest of Europe (Part 2). the Mediterranean countries all had a large agrarian base during the nineteenth century, with industrial activity becoming significant only towards the end of the century, and in many cases even later. Thus, this volume dwells more, although not exclusively, on the economic performance within sectors rather than on industrial revolutions

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