Category Archives: Social Theory

Where to execute a criminal in the Middle Ages?

Do you have morbid fascination with gallows, pillories and other sites of execution and infamy? If you do, you will probably never confess this interest, lest your colleagues shall fear you as a closet maniac. Unless, of course, you are … Continue reading

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Quality of Transactions and Quality Controls from the Middle Ages to Modernity

The third and final day of the history of economics summer school was concerned with the quality of market exchange and the mechanisms of regulating and controlling quality. We debated the sales of sick slaves in the medieval Mediterranean and crafty entrepreneurs in eighteenth-century England, female labour in late medieval Amiens, the tasting of wine on the Parisian market under the Ancient Regime, the supply of cotton and wool during the First World War, and many other exciting and curious issues. Continue reading

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Quality of Work and Products on the Historical Market

We heard of medieval coins and eighteenth-century art manufacturers, of bribes to Vietnamese officials and corals given to Gambian cheiftains, of fourteenth-century destriers and eighteenth-century winetasters. Continue reading

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Economics of Quality: People and Products on Medieval and Modern Markets

The first day of the 5th summer school on economic history opened with three papers by experts in the field, Christian Bessy, Laurent Feller and Bert de Munck, who introduced different theoretical issues in the economics of quality (économies de la qualité), followed by questions and discussion sections. Continue reading

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Tenderness in Post-modern Society: Where Is It Taking Us?

A lot has been written about post-modernism: what it is, does it exist at all, when did it begin, is it good or bad, etc. As scholars, we are supposed to be objective, i.e., keep our value judgements to ourselves. … Continue reading

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