The Long economic and political shadow of history 1: A global view
Study the past if you would define the future, Confucius wisely argued. Do the roots of development go back to the pre-industrial times and the Neolithic Revolution? How do the legal systems, colonial institutions and practices transplanted by Europeans; the presence of colonisers themselves; and early colonial investments influence contemporary comparative development? What is the legacy of Africas' slave trade and the artificial drawing of borders? What are the drivers of the divergent development paths of South and North America, states in India, and the North and South of Italy? How have the Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation shaped European development? How deep is anti-Semitism in Europe? And what is the aftermath of the Holocaust in Russia? Do Nazi occupation and communism still matter? And how? Are there long-run consequences of environmental features and disasters?Historians have long studied the origins and implications of important events; and sociologists, political scientists and anthropologists have debated fiercely the role of culture, genetics, and evolutionary features on long-run development. Over the past decades, it is economists, working on growth, who are rediscovering the importance of history. A vibrant, far-reaching inter-disciplinary stream of work has emerged. Historical archives, anthropological, linguistic, and archaeological maps, genetic evidence, satellite images and geographic endowments, are blended with econometric techniques and theoretical models to tackle controversial issues. The findings of this ambitious research agenda are novel and fascinating. This e-book summarises some influential works from this new research agenda examining the shadow that history casts over various aspects of the economy and the polity. While there are many open issues and debates and although development is not deterministic, one message is clear: We are shaped by history (Martin Luther King Jr).