Making Global and Local Connections: Historical Perspectives on Port Economics
Call for Papers for a port history session of the XIV International Economic History Congress IEHC, Helsinky, Finland, 21-25 August 2006 and a pre-conference to be held in Kotka (Finland), 18-20 August 2006
Organising committee: Senior Lecturer Tapio Bergholm, University of Helsinki (Finland), Professor Lewis R. Fischer, Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada); Doctor M. Elisabetta Tonizzi, University of Genoa (Italy). For more information about the organisers, please see below.
The organising committee has made a proposal to International Economic History Association (IEHA) for a port history session, entitled Making Global and Local Connections: Historical Perspectives on Port Economics, which has been accepted and officially scheduled as session of the XIV International Economic History Congress (IEHC: http://www.helsinki.fi/iehc2006/), Helsinki, Finland, 21-25 August 2006. In preparation for the congress session mentioned above, a pre-conference, to be held in Kotka, Finland, 18-20 August 2006, will be organised.
Both the congress session and pre-conference are sponsored by the International Maritime Economic History Association (IMEHA), an affiliate of the International Commission for Economic History. The pre-conference in Kotka is also co-sponsored by the University of Helsinki's Continuing Education Centre in Kotka, the town and port of Kotka, and the Provincial Museum of Kymenlaakso.
Call for papers
Structural change has always been one of the main questions addressed by economic historians. Ports, which are focal points of international, national and local economic development and change, have also been a staple of historical research. Yet the two strands too often have been divorced: The pre-conference in Kotka and congress session in Helsinki aim to help to close this gap in the record of the past.
Although economic activities and social relations are heavily dependent on the dynamics in a particular locale, first and foremost they reflect key issues in global economic development. This is exemplified by the recent evolution of the world economic and transport systems. Beginning in the 1970s, globalisation, containerisation and intermodality led to the creation of a “door-to-door” transport system operated by international multi-modal operators which are not linked to a particular port but rather choose the hub which can accommodate massive volumes, provide the best cargo handling and guarantee frequent and rapid connections to other ports and the hinterland. Consequently, ports have been transformed into mere nodes of multi-modal transport and delivery networks which connect original producers to final consumers regardless of location. To meet the demands of growing traffic flows, infrastructure for handling, storage and parking are needed. So too are new transport connections, such as railways and motorways. On the other hand, owing to major technological and organisational innovations, the traditionally positive impact of ports on employment and revenues has decreased sharply.
As a result of all these changes, port history has become a significant field of research to aid in our understanding of the historical transformation of economic, commercial, transport and technological networks, as well as industrial, social and urban relations. Interesting research projects from various temporal periods are now nearing completion. Moreover, new research on port economics has deepened our comprehension of the complicated interplay between import and export markets, whether beyond the sea or closer at hand. The congress session and related pre-conference aim to bring together a group of port historians interested in these kinds of issues.
Deadline for papers submission
Participants are invited to submit a short proposal in English indicating the scope of their intended papers, together with a summary of their CV. Proposal should reach the organising committee by 15 October 2005. Notification of acceptance will be given by 15 December 2005. Papers are due by 15 July 2006 in order to distribute them in advance to all participants. Selected and revised papers from the pre-conference and congress session will be published in an edited volume in the series “Research in Maritime History”.
Application and requests for more information about the pre-conference and congress session should be sent to:
FIN-00531 Helsinki, Finland
Tel: +358 9 7721339 (mobile + 358 50 5472771) fax: + 358 9 7721373
University of Helsinki
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