Call for articles: The second economic turn: new approaches to medieval and early modern economic history

deadline for submissions: 
March 20, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Vox medii aevi
contact email: 

Vox medii aevi, an open-access peer reviewed journal on Medieval history, is accepting articles for the special issue "The second economic turn: new approaches to medieval and early modern economic history".

In the recent decades, the development of economic history has been determined by the influence of the new institutional economics, as represented by Nobel laureate Douglass North, Avner Greif, and Daron Acemoglu among others. They applied neoclassical economic theory, methods of microeconomics and game theory to the research of social life and historical processes. Studies of medieval and early modern economic history played a remarkable role within this academic tradition. This approach proved to be productive, but therewith it resulted in the total subjection of economic history to the kingdom of economics. The former almost lost its proper historical component, especially in the making of the "grand narratives". Economics in the works of this sort is usually considered as a separate, self-governing entity ruled by natural, nearly biological, laws. It is also believed to be independent of social or political forces, but rather determining them.

Meanwhile, a few years ago, a clear tendency emerged towards the resurgence of historical bases of economic history studies. It manifested itself not only through the increased attention to sources rather than theories, but also in the choice of topics, aims of research, and methods of interpretation. Thus, instead of measuring efficiency of economic and financial practices in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, historians tend to take a closer look at the circumstances of their creation, their influence on people’s lives, and their moral assessment by contemporaries. In other words, medievalists and early modernists consider economic life as a product of the volatile balance of power in the societies. The reappearance of these topics has already been described as a "second economic turn". Nevertheless, this does not imply that statistics or econometric methods should be dismissed, but they are now regarded merely as instruments. The purpose of this Vox medii aevi volume is to support the developing trend and encourage historians who study the Middle Ages and Early Modern period to reflect on the alternative approaches to economic history by providing their vision of medieval and early modern economic development and the diversity of case studies.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Political economy of the Middle Ages and Early Modern period
  • Financial capitalism and merchant capitalism
  • Markets: reality vs theory
  • Monetary policy in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period
  • Cash, credit, taxes, and capitalism
  • Taxes as a result of political struggle
  • Economic policy and the traditions of resistance
  • Medieval and early modern credit practices
  • Governmental credit: consolidated debt of the city-states and royal loans
  • Economics and gender in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period

Besides, we welcome reviews of relevant books that have been published no earlier than three years ago as well as translations of the most significant texts on economic history into Russian or English. Please, contact the editors in advance to approve of the texts chosen for translation.

Manuscripts should be between 6,000 and 10,000 words (footnotes and bibliography included). The articles should be sent to voxmediiaevi@gmail.com

Guidelines for Submitting and Formatting of Manuscripts

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