Proposal preview

Subsistence, sustenance, and changing living spaces: Comparative studies of Eurasian economies from the 16th to the 20th centuries

Early modern economic historians including medieval historians have for a long time discussed transformation periods toward modernization, naming them “Feudalism to Capitalism,” “Proto-Industrialization,” “Industrious Revolution” and “Industrial Revolution,” and “Transition from an Organic Economy to an Industrial Revolution.” Such empirical studies and the methodologies and theories, with the exception of debates on “Labor-Intensive Industrialization,” were mostly adapted to analyze transitions in most economically developed countries (=MEDCs), especially Europe and Japan, but have failed to explain the latest global transition, which we call the emergence of a “fossil-fuel-based world economy,” initiated among MEDCs, and spreading to less economically developed countries (=LEDCs) and later to developing countries.
A clear difference between modern economy and modern globalized economy is that the latter embraces scientific/socio-technological knowledge development and global interdependency for using fossil fuel energies. The globalized fossil fuel economy appeared in the latter half of the 19th century and continues to dramatically change the present world. It is one of decisive causes of global warming and other environmental problems.
Given the fundamental contributions of natural, ecological and environmental histories since the 1960s, early modern and modern economic historians should reconsider and jointly discuss the developmental phases from an agricultural society to an industrialized/colonialized society and finally to a post-industrial low-carbon society, which should be a common global goal for societies today. It is an opportune time for an epochal collaboration, with early modern economic historians beginning to discuss “integrated peasant economy” and modern economic historians starting to engage in “ecological and sustainable economies” for developing countries and developed countries.
The session is open to empirical, theoretical or interpretative contributions from all parts of Eurasian economies. Paper givers should have a focus on energy resources, in particular, either in a comparative perspective, or with respect to compare early modern, modern and globalized times. Single-community studies over the long-term are also welcome, especially for areas that have previously been unexplored.
While the session aims to combine early modern, modern and globalized times and to compare MEDCs and LEDCs, proposals covering other areas of the world are also welcome as they would help expand our goals and contribute to future visions of low-carbon global societies.


  • Satoshi Murayama, Kagawa University,, Japan
  • Sayako Kanda, Keio University,, Japan
  • Aleksander Panjek, University of Primorska,, Slovenia

Session members

  • Satoshi Murayama, Kagawa University,
  • Sayako Kanda, Keio University,
  • Aleksander Panjek, University of Primorska,
  • Tomoki Shimanishi, Toyo University,
  • Miyuki Takahashi, Rissho University,
  • Luca Mocarelli, The University of Milano- Bicocca,
  • Jon Mathieu, University of Lucerne,
  • Jesper Larsson, Indiana University,
  • Mats Morell, Uppsala University,
  • Žarko Lazarević, Institute of Contemporary History,
  • Josef Grulich, University of South Bohemia,
  • Asada Haruhisa, Nara Women's University,
  • Cajee Laitpharlang, North Eastern Hill University,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Osamu Saito, Hitotsubashi University,
  • Guido Alfani, Università Bocconi,