Onglets principaux

CASSIS Youssef - Europe and the Global Economy from the Industrial Revolution to the Internet (20h)

This course will survey the evolution of Europe in the global economy from the late eighteenth century to the present. Its aim is to reflect on the key moments that have shaped, over the long term, the modern economic world. The course will follow a chronological narrative, with a discussion of the most significant developments taking place during five main periods.

The first period covers the years 1780-1875, starting with the first industrial revolution, which initiated on the one hand the ‘Great Divergence’ between Europe, and more generally the West, and the Rest, and on the other hand the process of modern economic growth; and extending after 1840, most notably with the building of the railways. The second period (1875-1914) witnessed a new wave of technological innovations, which spurred the emergence of the ‘new industries’ of the second industrial revolution (electricity, chemicals, oil, motor cars) and the rise of big business. But this was also the period of the first globalisation of the world economy (revolution in transport and communication, mass migrations and an explosion in international capital flows), with Britain at its heart, and the colonial expansion of the European powers.

The ‘Thirty Years War’ of the twentieth century (1914-1945), marked by two world wars and the most severe depression in modern history, led to a partial reversal of this trend and the rise of the United States as the world’s dominant economy. The fourth period (1945-1973), the ‘golden age’ of economic growth, was also a time of state intervention and regulation, exchange controls, and the freezing of international capital flows; it included the beginning of Europe’s economic integration; and it ended with the collapse of the regime of fixed exchange rates established at Bretton Woods in 1944. The last period, from the late twentieth to the early twenty-first century (1973-2016) was marked by deindustrialisation in the advanced economies and the arrival of newly industrialised countries on the world stage; a ‘third’ industrial revolution (information technology, biotechnology), closely connected to the rise of services, especially financial services; a second globalisation, which eventually surpassed the first; and the financial debacle of 2007-2008, which raised still unanswered questions about the position of Europe in the global economy in the twenty-first century. // ECTS Card

Professor: Youssef CASSIS