Peer Vries

Peer Vries

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104
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Introduction
The big underlying theme of my work has been and will continue to be ‘the origins of modern economic growth: comparisons and connections.’ To put it in Moses Abramovitz’s terms what interests me is the problem of catching up, forging ahead and falling behind in economic history. What caused the emergence and (non-) continuation of the Great Divergence between rich and poor nations? For further information about my publications see http:/peervries.com
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - October 2016
University of Vienna
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (104)
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This is a review I wrote to publish on Researchgate. I wanted to write a long review and publish it quickly, and thus published it here
Preprint
It is a review that will be published in International Review of Social History
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Patrick O’Brien has dedicated most of his career to studying British economic history, focusing on the Industrial Revolution, its antecedents, characteristics and consequences. He has always paid attention to long-term developments and never confined himself to strictly economic aspects. From the late 1990s onward, he increasingly turned ‘global’....
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I publish this article for which I have the copyright on my own account here and also as a booklet with Amazon.com. Please refer to one of these 'sources'. Economists tend to analyze economic developments in terms of economic forces and to consider political and military power and force as ‘exogeneous’ and therefore as subjects of study for other...
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Patrick O'Brien on industrialization, little Britain and the wider world Patrick O'Brien has dedicated most of his career to studying British economic history, focusing on the Industrial Revolution, its antecedents, characteristics and consequences. He has always paid attention to long-term developments and never confined himself to strictly econom...
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This review of Andrew Liu, Tea War will appear in Comparative in summer 2021
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A review of the book by Alfani and Di Tullio, The lion's share
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Global history seems to be the history for our times. Huge syntheses such as the seven-volume Cambridge World History or the six-volume A History of the World suggest the field has come to fruition. Robert Moore, in his contribution to the book under review, The Prospect of Global History , is quite confident in this respect: if there is a single r...
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About the question whether Meiji Japan was capitalist!
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The Age of Gunpowder, China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History. By Tonio Andrade . Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016. Pp. IX, 432. $39.95, hardcover. - Volume 77 Issue 2 - Peer Vries
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Inevitable decline? A review of Bas van Bavel, The Invisible Hand? How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined since ad 500 (Oxford, 2016) - Volume 62 Issue 1 - Peer Vries
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Peer Vries, ‘Orientalism Inverted: or Good Reasons not to ReOrient the Economic History of the Early Modern World’ Paper presented on 21-3-2006 at a GEHN Conference in Villa Les Treilles, France.
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The authors of the book reviewed here need no introducing. They are amongst the most-frequently cited scholars in the social sciences. They wrote many highly influential articles, as a rule together with Simon Johnson, and already published a book together in 2006. Their book needs no further praise; it opens with jacket quotes of praise by no fewe...
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This review is an analysis of Prasannan Parthasarathi's explanation of the economic divergence in the long eighteenth century between Britain and India as presented in his recent book. It focuses on the question of why Britain industrialized first instead of India. Parthasarathi's claim that Britain's industrialization was a response to two challen...
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In this article the autor presents a description, analysis and evaluation of the fundamentally new interpretation of the economic history of the early modern world that is defended by authors who collectively have become known as the California School, the most important among them being Kenneth Pomeranz, Roy Bin Wong, Andre Gunder Frank and Jack G...
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This text provides an overview of developments in global economic history since World War II. It focuses on two debates: the one on the Great Divergence and the one on character and history of economic globalisation. It starts with discussing what has long been the mainstream explanation of ‘the rise of the West’ and ‘the failure of the Rest’: the...
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The Laws of History. By SnooksGraeme Donald. London and New York: Routledge, 1998. Pp xiv, 293. $110.00. - Volume 60 Issue 4 - Peer Vries
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The expression 'industrial revolution', as a generic term, refers to the emergence, during the transition from a pre-industrial to an industrial society, of modern economic growth, i.e. a sustained and substantial increase of GDP per capita in real terms. Talking about 'revolution' does not mean that this process would necessarily be sudden and fas...
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Historians have expressed increasing concern about the segmentation of their discipline s scholarly expertise into discrete compartments, whether defined by place, period, theme, or sub-discipline. A deluge of monographs is obscuring the landscapes of historical knowledge, even in relatively neglected parts of the globe. The Journal of Global Histo...
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In het Westen, en in een paar andere delen van de wereld, gelden tegenwoordig een bepaalde mate van welvaart, economische ontwikkeling en groei als normaal. Slechts een zeer gering percentage van de totale bevolking leeft er op het zogeheten 'bestaansminimum', dat in feite ver boven het échte, dat wil zeggen het fysieke bestaansminimum ligt. Lonen...
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In explaining the fact that Western Europe was the first region in the world with industrial economic growth, numerous authors have referred to the existence of a type of state and a state-system that presumably were uniquely European. In this article this thesis is put to the test through an analysis of how in the early modern period they are supp...
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In this review article the author offers an extensive analysis of Kenneth Pomeranz's book, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy, the latest in a series of works that focus on the classical question why sustained industrial growth began in northwestern Europe and not someplace else. The author systematicall...
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Andre Gunder Frank's latest work, ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age definitely is a book with a message. Its author sets out to challenge what according to him are the received opinions in historiography and social science on the making of the modern world. He does so relentlessly and overturns the ideas of such influential scholars as Marx...
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John 'Jack' Rankine Goody (b. 1919) is one of the most distinguished social anthropologists of postwar Britain. He received his education in prewar Oxford and Cambridge, then the homeports of some of the intellectual giants of this century, such as Bertrand Russel, John Maynard Keynes and Ludwig Wittgenstein. As a field anthropologist, Goody spent...
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I thank Professor Frank for his swift reaction. I have considered his critiques and reservations seriously and will attempt to use them constructively, just as he did mine. For the sake of convenience I answer his comments in the order in which he has presented them. Space does not permit me to go into all his remarks extensively.
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It would be hard to find a more fundamental question in economic history than the one professor Landes asks in his latest book: why are some nations so rich and some so poor? To every economist and economic historian analysing this problem is an immense intellectual challenge. Landes however does not merely tackle it from a strictly intellectual pe...
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We will focus this interview on your most recent book Coercion, capital and European states, AD 990-1990 (Cambridge Mass. en Oxford 1990). The central subject of this book is the relationship between on the one hand capital-the bourgeoisie-and on the other hand coercion-the coercive power of the state apparatus-in the process of state formation. I...
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I would like to start with some general questions concerning your position as a historian. Would yon describe yourself as an economic historian or as a general historian? I would not describe myself a an economic historian. I have written quite alot in several different áreas of history, economic history certainly, but also social history, politica...

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