Monday, June 30, 2008

Montesquieu against Jared Diamond

Guns, germs and steel? No. Ideas were the key of western domination of the Americas:

"Can it be said that this destruction, the greatest history has ever known, was only a simple effect of the ignorance of a principle of philosophy? It can, and I am going to prove it."

Montesquieu in The Motives That Ought to Encourage Us to the Sciences

(I recommend the whole paper.)

via aldaily.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Power and Plenty:Trade, War, and the World Economy in the II Millennium- O'Rourke and Findlay

The book is not for everyone. It presumes that the reader has a quite comprehensive knowledge about the last 1,000 years of world economic history and some training in Economics. Nevertheless, it is a must if you are a serious researcher of any of these issues.
The book has changed my mind on several issues, mainly about the Industrial Revolution. I used to take the New-Economic-History side: it was slow and foreign markets were not important. Now I am not so sure at all. The bottom line: Power and Plenty is a great book!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

III Research Workshop on Institutions and Organizations - Call for papers

Ramon Fernandez emailed me:
"Call for papers

The III Research Workshop on Institutions and Organizations will be held at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV-SP) from October 13th to 14th 2008. The III RWIO is sponsored by three Brazilian Academic Institutions (Fundação Getúlio Vargas São Paulo, IBMEC São Paulo and University of São Paulo).

Seminar participants will discuss recent developments in the analysis of institutions and organizations through the lenses of Economics, Management, Sociology, Law and other social sciences. Instead of focusing on the contributions of specific disciplines dealing with institutions and organizations, workshop participants will emphasize differences and commonalities among different approaches, leading to potential advances and refinements in the field.

We encourage the participation of researchers of Brazilian and international institutions. The following program is based on both invited and selected papers.

The organizational committee invites the submission of papers to the following the topics:


Panel I: Organizations, law and corruption

Panel II: Institutions and Development

Panel III: Institutions and environment

Panel IV: Psychological issues and organization strategies

Panel V: Industrial and competition policy

*More details about the panels will be announced soon.


-Deadline for submission of an extended abstract: July 15th 2008

-Acceptance of proposal: July 25th 2008

-Deadline for submission of final papers: August 30th 2008

-Acceptance of final papers: September 15th 2008

Proposal must be sent in English as PDF attachment to and should include an extended abstract (maximum of 1.000 words). A confirmation message will be sent."