Louis Puttermann, Brown University

"A multimillennial approach to comparative development"


The talk will give an overview of my research on the importance of very long term differences in technological, social, political and economic development on the comparative development of world regions today. The overarching theme is that differences in developmental paths between the initial agricultural transitions (Fertile Crescent, China, Mesoamerica, Andes, etc.) and the early modern period, crucially mediated by transport and communication possibilities of the relevant historical epochs, have first order effects on how the 15th to 20th century colonial era and the late 18th to mid-20th century spread of industrialization played out, and crucial impacts on how the post-World War II catch-up era has played out to date. My most recent work and work in progress on the initial agricultural transitions, state emergence, and state diffusion, will be touched on along with some remarks about past published work.

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Contact person: Casper Worm