Paris: Scholars and researchers from all over the world gathered in the French capital city for a two-day conference which sought to undertake the first large-scale investigation into a variety of economic institutions that have been crucial to economic development in Asia and Europe over the centuries. INCEIF Professor of Comparative Economic History Prof Murat Cizakca, who is acknowledged as one of the leading scholars on economic history, was one of the invited speakers.
The conference `The Trading Networks and The Trajectory of Economic Institutions’ was organised and hosted by one of France’s leading universities in research, Ecole Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences. The inaugural conference is a result of efforts initiated by The international Research Network in Comparative Economic History. Set up in January, the institution conducted a systematic comparison of the trajectories of peculiar economic institutions and business practices in different environments in Europe and Asia. It also drew on the analysis of unpublished collection of private documents, local gazettes, stone inscriptions, perspective narratives and legal archives relating to economic development and merchants’ memoirs over a period of five centuries.
In his presentation on `Cross-cultural borrowing and comparative evolution of institutions’, Prof Murat took into consideration two great civilisations of humanity, the Islamic world and the West and the institutional transactions among them.
“By institutional transaction, I mean cross-cultural borrowing of institutions as well as their respective evolution in both the original and the borrowing civilizations. The crux of my argument is that institutional borrowing has played an enormously important role in the subsequent economic development of the borrowing civilisation through primarily a substantial reduction in the transaction costs. In short, the paper attempts to develop a theory of cross-cultural borrowing of institutions,” Prof Murat said.
In addition, Prof Murat also moderated a session on `Imperial regimes in the Orient and mercantilist states in the West from the conquest of Ceuta to the first Opium War’. The paper presenter was Mr Patrick O’ Brien of London School of Economics.