Historisches Institut

Schweizer Geschichte

RCC

 

International Conference

 
 

Hosted by

Center for Global Studies, University of Bern

Organised by

Robert Heinze (University of Bern),
Patrick Neveling (Utrecht University)

Date

June 28th, 2016 - June 30th, 2016

Conference Venue

University of Bern
UniS, Room A 222
Schanzeneckstrasse 1
3001 Bern

 

This interdisciplinary, international conference will advance the debate about the periodisation of global economic processes after 1945. For this, we will bring together researchers from the social sciences and the humanities whose recent work goes beyond the predominant notion of a radical, world-historical rupture driven by crises in industrially advanced nations in the 1970s. Instead, contributors to this conference highlight the analytical gains from research and theories with emphasis on historical trajectories in the Global South, on a broader period in world history, and on analytical models of change that consider radical rupture as much as continuities and consolidations.
 

 

With the kind support of

 

 

Programme

Tuesday, June 28th

13:00 Registration
13:30 – 14:15 Welcome: Britta Sweers, Director CGS
Conference Introduction: Robert Heinze, Patrick Neveling

 

Session I

 
Chair: Luisa Piart, University of Bern
14:30 – 15:20
Jennifer Lynn Bair, University of Colorado at Boulder
Whose Right to Develop? The NIEO, the United Nations and the Emergence of the Human Right to Development
15:20 – 16:10
Alina Cucu, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
Fracture and Endurance in the Temporal and Territorial Logics of Socialist Industrialization
 
16:10 – 16:30
 
 
Coffee Break
 
16:30 – 17:20
Patrick Neveling, Utrecht University
Relocating Capitalism, Consolidating Neoliberalism: The Global Spread of Export Processing Zones and Special Economic Zones since 1947
17:20 – 18:20
Roundtable
Jennifer Bair, Alina Cucu, Patrick Neveling
 
19:30
 
Conference Dinner

 

Wednesday, June 29th

 

Session II

 
Chair: Benjamin Brühwiler, University of Amsterdam
09:30 – 10:20
Gisela Hürlimann, ETH Zurich
No Moral Issue Whatsoever? The Global Economy and the Entangled Swiss Worlds of Taxation, 1950s Onward
10:20 – 11:10
Kean Fan Lim, University of Nottingham
On the Geographical-Historical Conditions of RMB Internationalization
 
11:10 – 11:30
 
 
Coffee Break
 
11:30 – 12:20
Roundtable
Gisela Huerlimann, Kean Fan Lim
 
12:20 – 13:40
 
Lunch
 

Session III

 
Chair: Jonas Flury, University of Bern
13:40 – 14:30
Leon Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago
Neoliberalism Before Its Time?  Labor and the Free Trade Ideal in the Era of the ‘Great Compression’, 1945-1972 
14:30 – 15:20
Robert Heinze, University of Bern
"Plus ça reste, plus ça change": Infrastructure and the periodisation of African economic history
 
15:20 – 15:50
 
 
Coffee Break
 
15:50 – 16:40
George Baca, Dong-A University, South Korea
Keynesianism’s Imperialist Underbelly: Witch-Hunts and Miracles in South Korea
16:40 – 17:40
Roundtable
Leon Fink, Robert Heinze, George Baca
 
19:00
 
Dinner
 

Thursday, June 30th

 

Session IV

 
Chair: Stella Krepp, University of Bern
09:00 – 09:50
Catherine Schenk, University of Glasgow
Reinventing the International Monetary and Financial System in the 1970s: Continuities and Complexities
09:50 – 10:40
Rüdiger Graf, Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam
A Turning Point in Energy History and International Relations? Reviewing the First Oil Crises 1973/74
 
10:40 – 11:10
 
 
Coffee Break
 
11:10 – 12:00
Christian Gerlach, University of Bern
The Global Grain Economy in the 1970s: Changes and Continuities
12:00 – 13:00 
Roundtable
Catherine Schenk, Rüdiger Graf, Christian Gerlach
 
13:00 – 14:30
 
Lunch

 

Session V

 
Chair: Magaly Tournay, ETH Zürich
14:30 – 15:20
Mallika Shakya, South Asia University, New Delhi
Different Ruptures – Trade Union Movements in the Global South
15:20 – 16:10 
Jefferson Cowie, Vanderbuilt University
Global Economics, Local Identities: The U.S. Political Backlash from Truman to Trump
 
16:10 – 16:30
 
 
Coffee Break
 
16:30 – 17:20
Roundtable
Jefferson Cowie, Mallika Shakya
17:20 – 18:10
Final Discussion, Plans for Publication(s), Farewell
 
19:30 
 
Dinner

 

 

This interdisciplinary, international conference will advance the debate about the periodisation of global economic processes after 1945. For this, we will bring together researchers from the social sciences and the humanities whose recent work goes beyond the predominant notion of a radical, world-historical rupture driven by crises in industrially advanced nations in the 1970s. Instead, contributors to this conference highlight the analytical gains from research and theories with emphasis on historical trajectories in the Global South, on a broader period in world history, and on analytical models of change that consider radical rupture as much as continuities and consolidations.

Such a debate is badly needed because mainstream research in the social sciences and humanities has, for more than a decade, followed the assumption of a radical shift from Keynesianism and Fordism to neoliberalism and post-Fordism in the 1970s. In history, several widely received and debated recent publications, such as Lutz Raphael and Anselm Doering-Manteuffel's "Nach dem Boom", Daniel Rodgers’ "Age of Fracture" and Morten Reitmayers and Thomas Schlemmer’s "Die Anfänge der Gegenwart" established that notion, building largely on empirical research in industrially advanced countries. Likewise, for social anthropology, sociology, and human geography influential monographs such as David Harvey’s “The Condition of Postmodernity” have established a narrative that posits radical ruptures as the world-shaping experience of the 1970s, which scholars across these disciplines have followed often unequivocally.

Increasingly, the supposed watershed-like character of events and the associated notions of systemic rupture are questioned, particularly regarding the singularity of the post-1970s experience in the global economy. This concerns the two oil crises of the 1970s and the end of the Bretton Woods System of fixed currency exchange rates as well as foundational concepts in the social sciences and humanities such as that of a flexibilisation of labour and employment and the rise of a neoliberal geography of capitalism shaped by high capital mobility.

Importantly, new studies draw on global perspectives and reveal that the notion of a 1970s rupture is only partially sustainable. While it is viable for the analysis of particular regions in the industrial heartlands of advanced capitalist nations such as the US, West Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, it is less easily verified for the historical trajectories of developing nations.

Further, social anthropologists, historians and sociologists have begun to question a radical difference that has for long been posited as a defining feature of the capitalist and the socialist bloc economies, and instead look for the origins of neoliberal policies in socialist states since the 1950s. New studies reveal that there were indeed extended debates and collaborations between economists from both sides and historical research shows that the Soviet Union was an active and powerful agent in global (capitalist) trading, for example during the world food crisis in the early 1970s.

The conference therefore focuses on the continuities and interdependencies between different patterns of economic regulation, asking which shades of Fordism, Keynesianism, Neoliberalism, and so forth have emerged since 1945 and in what ways these have connected societies and economies worldwide. We intend to initiate a debate among scholars from different fields on similarities and differences among and across nations in the Global South and the North and how these continued, consolidated, and/or changed over the past seven decades.

Contributions to this conference will enquire the following, among other questions:

  • Whether and to what extent did continuities of colonial and early post-colonial labour regimes and integration into global trading agreements prevail in the Global South?
  • To what extent does the impact of strategic policy changes, such as moving from import-substitution to export-oriented development, justify analytical concepts of rupture?
  • What role should we allocate to global policy projects, which conjured radical changes in global integration (i.e. for a new international economic order, for global socialism, for global neoliberalism) in periodising the era since 1945?
  • How did (and how does) public and academic opinion across the globe reflect on notions of continuity, consolidation and rupture?


Robert Heinze and Patrick Neveling

Conference Venue

Universität Bern, UniS, Schanzeneckstrasse 
From Berne Main Station, take Bus No. 12 to Länggasse. Get off at Stop ”Universität”, walk back a few meters, then turn right into Schanzenstrasse, where you will see the UniS building.
The conference takes place in Room A 222, on the main second floor. Alternatively, from the train station exits to Laenggasse, the conference venue is within a five minutes walking distance—uphill.

If you'd like to take part in the conference, please register via this e-mail address:
robert.heinze (at) hist.unibe.ch