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Crises in Economic and Social History: A Comparative Perspective


Rob Doherty


This collection of essays brings together historians examining social and economic crises from the thirteenth century to the twenty-first. Crisis is an almost ubiquitous concept for historians, applicable across (amongst others) the histories of agriculture, disease, finance and trade. Yet there has been little attempt to compare its use as an explanatory tool between these discrete fields of research. This volume breaks down the boundaries between traditional historical time periods and sub-disciplines of history to examine the ways in which past societies have coped with crises, and the role of crisis in generating economic and social change. Should we conceptualise a medieval agrarian or financial crisis differently from their modern counterparts? Were there similarities in how contemporaries responded to famine or outbreaks of disease? How comparable are crises within households, within institutions, or across national and international networks of trade? Contributors examine how crises have shaped economic and social life in a range of studies from the Great Depression in 1930s Latin America to the outbreak of plague in seventeenth-century central Europe, and from sheep and cattle murrain in fourteenth-century England to the Northern Rock building society collapse of 2007.


Brown, A., Burn, A., & Doherty, R. (Eds.). (2015). Crises in Economic and Social History: A Comparative Perspective. Boydell Press

Book Type Edited Book
Acceptance Date May 30, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 30, 2015
Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Jun 15, 2015
Publisher Boydell Press
Series Title People, Markets, Goods: Economies and Societies in History
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