Konferenz 2018

Call for Paper: Markets and their Agents

Basel, 21st and 22nd of June, 2018

Markets and the agents who shaped and created them are the subject of the 6th annual conference of the research group on premodern economic history. Markets feature prominently in recent
research. Discussions cover the questions, for example, how a market can be grasp as a place,
an event or a mechanism of exchange, or whether premodern economies have just hosted
markets or if some of them can even be regarded as market economies.
The conference in Basel will now turn to the agents who forged and connected markets.
Exchange was done between persons and with the help of persons: Artisans, retailers and poor
people tried to better their living conditions by engaging on the market, merchants
interconnected different markets, urban personnel (such as brokers, men working at the public
scales, or the town council as a whole) regulated and facilitated exchange.
By focusing on economic practices and the agents who performed them, the conference aims
at analyzing the specific characteristics of premodern markets, at studying the reasons why
people became active on the market and at scrutinizing the institutions which formed exchange
processes and were in turn shaped by them.
Contributions can cover the following questions, among others:
• Which types of agents (people, groups of people, corporations) interacted on or between
premodern markets? How did they shape markets and the integration between markets?
• How did market exchange alter or modify the options that economic agents faced?
• Which rules, norms and interests shaped the actions that were carried out on premodern
• What kind of actions can be considered as market exchange?
• How did market exchange differ from other forms of exchange, for example donations
or taxes?
• How, when and where did markets develop into a market economy (or vice versa)?
• How were regulations justified and how were they put into praxis?
• Did actions on the market or in a market economy somehow change the course of
economic development?

We invite proposals for papers that discuss and analyze the agents on markets. Presentations
should not exceed 20 minutes. Please send a short sketch of your proposed paper (half a page
to a page) and a short CV to: ulla.kypta@unibas.ch, deadline: 04th April 2018.