Video Chronicle

The Little Divergence
28 March 2019

On March 28, 2019  the discussion by economic historians "The Little Divergence" within Imperial Eastern Europe: Institutions, Economic Development, and Peripherality" took place.

Inequalities in incomes and living standards are high on the global agenda. Economic historians play a key role in understanding the root causes of today’s differences. This discussion focuses on the differences and similarities in the very long-run development patterns of Eastern and Western Europe that possibly led to where we are today. 

Discussants aimed to provide tentative answers to the following questions: What does Eastern Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries mean from the perspective of economic historians? How peripheral was this region compared to Western Europe? Did Eastern Europe really catch up to the west in the late nineteenth century, using the advantages of backwardness? Why do modern economic historians tend to avoid the cliché about the "traditional" village and "modern" city? Would there be advantages to keeping a binary opposition between these? What are the key theories used by economic historians to understand cross-regional European development patterns? What does the available evidence say? How can scholarly efforts in Ukraine help the debate forward? We will raise these questions together with the invited experts in economic history, an established discipline in Western Europe and Northern America, but largely neglected in Ukraine. 

Discussion participants:
Tracy Dennison (California Institute of Technology). 
Max Schulze ( London School of Economics and Political Science)
Jacob Weisdorf (University of Southern Denmark)
Tymofii Brik (Kyiv School of Economics)
Olena Petrenko (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Volodymyr Kulikov (Central European University)

The event is supported by Contemporary Ukraine Studies Program at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta.