CFP: Politics and state finance in the peripheries of the global economy in historical perspective; deadline: 15 December 2017

Politics and state finance in the peripheries of the global economy in historical perspective

University College London

London, 6-7 June 2018

Keynote speakers

Prof Tim Besley (London School of Economics)

Prof Larry Neal (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Deadline: 15 December 2017

Politics shapes the way governments tax, spend, borrow and repay. In this workshop, we aim to explore how political systems influenced the way peripheral governments managed their fiscal systems in Europe, Asia and Africa in historical perspective. The mainstream economic history literature on state finance assumes that autocratic regimes are less likely to run sustainable accounts and more likely to default on their debt. The “democratic advantage” implies that governments limited by checks and balances such as an independent parliament are more creditworthy. Others highlight the importance of political centralisation in the rise of “fiscal states”, which count with permanent bureaucratic bodies to tax and borrow long term. Overall, there is a consensus that political institutions influence the ability and willingness of governments to tax and repay, but there are more than one combinations between polity, credit records and fiscal strength. The session is open to papers on any time range which focus on peripheries of Europe, Asia and Africa around these themes. Proposed papers inter alia will explore topics of fiscal policy, long-term patterns of taxation and government spending, political economy of domestic/foreign debt and defaults, persistence and convergence of fiscal regimes, and the links between global finance and domestic politics.

The workshop will be held at the University College London during 6-7 June 2018. The interested participants are required submit a 500-words abstract and title together with their academic CV to by 15 December 2017. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 15 January 2018. Participants will be invited to publish their extended abstract of paper in workshop proceedings and the project website: Should your paper be accepted, you will be asked to provide either extended abstract (2000-2500 words) or full manuscript for inclusion in the proceedings by 18 May 2018.

While limited financial support is available for selected PhD students, interested participants are expected to secure their own funding. Additional information on registration, travel and accommodation will be made available to participants by 31 January 2018.

The workshop organisers, Coşkun Tunçer (University College London) and Leonardo Weller (São Paulo School of Economics), gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the British Academy. For any queries regarding the workshop, please get in touch with organisers via

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