Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought


The 24th Annual Conference of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET) will take place at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, 28-30 May 2020. Proposals for papers or sessions on all aspects of the history of economic thought are welcome. An abstract of about 400 words for a paper and 600 words for a session should be submitted on the conference website no later than January 15th, 2020.
Note that: a) published papers are not eligible for submission; b) only one conference presentation is allowed per person (but more than one submission may be accepted, if involving co-authors who are also presenting); c) session proposals must conform with standard format (3 papers, 90 minutes).

Theme of the Conference

Particularly welcome are proposals for papers and sessions that fall under the ESHET 2020 conference theme: "Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought”.  However, papers may be on any topic relevant to the history of economic thought, and are not restricted to the conference theme.
Development economics as a specific subfield of economics emerged during the last seven decades.   Since the 1950s, economists have shown a growing interest in identifying, assessing and defeating persistent problems of economic stagnation, material poverty and hunger, vulnerability to shocks and unsatisfactory quality of life. For a long time, classical political economists were involved in the discussion about the main quantum leap in economic development, the Industrial Revolution. It spread only slowly from its initial base in northwestern Europe and it was only during recent decades that it reached large sections of what was once called “the Third World”. It opened up enormous income gaps between regions, known as the "Great Divergence" in international living standards, but fueled also varied processes of “catching up”. The history of economic thought is full of contributions to debates about the Great Divergence and partial convergence, about their causes and consequences and about strategies to address and resolve the problems of underdevelopment.
Special attention will be granted to proposals that aim to explore how economists have understood the role of economic and other factors in development and in the processes of catching up. Examples include:
- Origin and evolution of our ideas about economic development and underdevelopment;
- Explanations of “relative economic backwardness”;
- The role of institutions in the theories of development and growth;
- Designs of development-oriented economic policy in core and peripheral economies;
- Development and underdevelopment issues in European integration;
- Comparative perspectives on theories of economic development;
- Old and new trends in development economics;
- Post-development: critiques and alternatives to development theories;
- Mainstream and alternative approaches to development economics.