25th Conference of the Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte [Society for Social and Economic History, Germany]
Economy and Environment from the late middle ages to the present: En route to sustainability?
The debates on the limits to economic growth and „sustainable development“, which emerged after 1970 – reflecting the environmental problems and increased consumption of resources – also promoted an intensified historical interest in „environment“ since the 1980s, usually connected to Social and Economic History. On its conference in 1981 the Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte (GSWG) discussed the subject „Economic development and environmental impact“, particularly emphasised the negative consequences of economic growth and the use of resources and pointed out the analytical potential of the historical perspective.
Recent researches have gone beyond the guiding theme “crisis and pollution“ and have focused especially on the interaction between human and nature. On numerous areas of Social and Economic History the ecological implications of economic activities have been analysed in greater detail. Climate history for example has evolved in close connection to Agricultural History.
Since the on-going debate is dealing with the question whether we are on the way to more sustainability, it is necessary to trace the historical dimensions of the mentioned paradigm shift and to identify stages of the mentioned historical change. Which events are milestones of this development? In what way do the “Colombian Exchange”, the Industrialisation or the 1950s-syndrome with the emerging throwaway society mark historic turning points? Given the global economic interdependence, a comprehensive perspective on the “Blue planet” is necessary.
Furthemore, the debate on “sustainable development“ draws the attention on specific ressources and their long-term historic management. Especially on this area, the “bridging subject“ Social and Economic History benefits from the dialogue with its neighbouring disciplines: “Material resources“ as a factor of production has again advanced in the centre of attention of economic science, for example within the context of integrating the use of ressources in macroeconomic accounting. In general the theoretical integration of „environment“ in economic and socio-scientific models or theories might enable a productive approach to the topic of the conference.
The aim of the 25th working conferenc of the GSWG titled „Economy and Environment from the late middle ages to the present: En route to sustainability?“ from 3rd–6th April 2013 in Salzburg (Austria) wants to bring together comprehensive and exemplary, theoretical and empirical contributions and thus at the same time to demonstrate the range, diversity and unity of Social and Economic History with regards to contents, methods and theory. Proposals for conference papers, including your CV, are requested to be sent to the chairman of the Society, Prof. Dr. Günther Schulz, Bonn, Germany.
Prof. Dr. Günther Schulz
Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft
Abt. für Verfassungs-, Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte
GERMANY Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the website at http://www.gswg.net
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