International Economic History Association



Newsletter June 1999


With this letter I would like to inform you about the work done by the Executive Committee of the IEHA since the meeting of the General Assemblee in August 1998 in Madrid.

First of all, the Reform Commission that was installed at the meeting of the General Assemblee, has met in December 1998 in Utrecht. On the basis of many comments and suggestions by both individual scholars and member associations, the Commission wrote a detailed report proposing changes in the organization of both the IEHA and the World Economic History Congresses. Then the report was discussed by the Bureau of the IEHA at its meeting in Amsterdam in February 1999 and by the Executive Committee at its meeting in May 1999 in Riverside (California). You will find the report of the Commission on the IEHA Webpage:

These discussions have resulted in the following changes: The XIII World Economic History Congress (Buenos Aires 2002) will to a large extent adopt the new format suggested by the Reform Commission. Also the selection of the venue for the XIV World Economic History Congress (in 2006) will be organized according to the new proposals (See the Call for Host Cities attached to this letter). At its meeting in 2000 the Executive Committee will continue its discussion on the new statutes. This will result in a proposal for a new set of statutes. In 2002, in Buenos Aires, the General Assemblee will decide on the proposed changes in the statutes.

Secondly, we have tried to solve some of the problems that remained after the suspension of the Sevilla Congress and its move to Madrid. At the meeting of the Bureau in February it was agreed upon with Gabriel Tortella that he would distribute the proceedings of the Madrid Congress as soon as possible to those scholars who paid for them but did not yet receive them (because they did not attend the Congress in Madrid). The Secretary General offered to assist Gabriel Tortella with this distribution and suggested that possible extra costs might be paid for by the IEHA. However, in spite of the fact that all members of the Bureau, including Gabriel Tortella, agreed to such a solution, it has been impossible so far to implement this decision.

During its meeting in Amsterdam the Bureau also tried to acquire more information about the financial accounts of the Madrid Congress. However, Gabriel Tortella does not want to disclose any information about the revenues and expenditure of the Congress, because he is still involved in legal proceedings with Proconsur. The Executive Committee fears that these legal proceedings may drag on for many years - if they will come to any conclusion at all. This would imply that those who have lost money as a result of the change of the location of the Congress to Madrid, will never be able to recover it (and will never find out what happened with it). Therefore, the Executive Committee has adopted a resolution respectfully requesting Gabriel Tortella for a report on the income received and the expenditure made by his organization, in so far as they relate to the aim of the realization of the XII World Congress of the Association (See the enclosed resolution).

Thirdly and finally, the Executive Committee has been preparing for the XIII World Economic History Congress in 2002. In late February 1999 the Secretary General issued a call for session proposals. In response to this call 65 proposals were made to the Executive Committee. At its meeting in May the Executive Commitee selected 40 session proposals for the Buenos Aires Congress. A second and final call for session proposals will be issued next year with the 15th of April 2001 as a deadline.

The Executive Committee also discussed the preliminary budget for the Congress as it was put forward by Roberto Cortes Conde, the president of the IEHA and the organizer of the Buenos Aires Congress. Moreover, on behalf of the IEHA the President and the Secretary General have signed two contracts that regulate the relationship between the IEHA and the local organizers in Buenos Aires. Frequently updated information about the Congress is now available in English, French and Spanish on the Congress webpage: This includes details about all sessions that have been accepted for the Congress and about your participation in them. The first brochure of the Buenos Aires Congress will be published in September 1999.

I hope this letter gives you a clear idea about the work being done by the IEHA. Still, if you any other questions about IEHA matters, I am most willing to answer them.

Jan Luiten van Zanden, Secretary General

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