International Economic History Association



Newsletter July 2001


The Executive Committee of the International Economic History Association recently met in Sydney to discuss a number of issues regarding the IEHA and the organization of the XIIIth Economic History Congress to be held Buenos Aires in July 2002. This letter is to inform you about the most important decisions that have been made.

To begin with, Roberto Cortes Conde presented a report on the state of affairs of the organization of the 2002 Congress. The local organizing committee has recently decided to move the venue of the congress to the Hilton Hotel, which has excellent facilities and is very close to the centre of the city. The hotel will also make 280 rooms available at strongly reduced prices. The travel agency Caminos Turismo, which is recommended by the local organizing committee, will disseminate information on the reduced rates of other hotels (nobody will of course be obliged to stay in the Hilton hotel). All information about these changes is already availaable on the web pages of the congress It has also been agreed that there will be a grant program for at least 50 young scholars, or other colleagues who are unable to finance their trip to Buenos Aire: 12 full grants to Ph D students who are selected for the dissertation sessions, and at least 40 partial grants for other scholars.

Concerning the academic programme a number of decisions was made. First of all, Herman van der Wee has accepted to be the key speaker of the opening session. Secondly, the Executive Committee accepted fifty new session proposals - submitted after the second call for session proposals. This brings the total number of sessions up to 95. Thirdly, the local organizing committee has also concluded a contract with a local company to put all the papers of the congress on a CD-rom. All participants will receive a copy of the CD-rom, while at the congress it will be possible to print papers on order. The CD-rom replaces the usual publication of volumes with the proceedings of the congress. The papers will also be available on the congress webpage. Please note, that there is a rather tight time schedule for the preparation of the CD-rom: papers have to be submitted before February 1st. To make sure the CD Rom is ready on time, the Executive Committee appeals to all involved - and to the session organizers in particular - to stick to the time schedule.

The juries of the dissertation sessions also met in Sydney, and selected thirteen candidates who will be invited to come to Buenos Aires and present their PhD research in the Dissertation Sessions. In Buenos Aires there will be a session in which the Reform Commission, established in Madrid in 1998, will report on its activities. In that meeting the Executive Committee will also explain its view on the proposed reforms (which will of course be on the agenda of the General Assembly as well).Finally the Executive Committee has decided to organize two round tables on the future plans of the IEHA. One of these round tables will focus on data bases and historical statistics, the other on the training of Ph D students. More information on these plans will be sent to you in the next few months.

Another important item on the agenda of the meeting of the Executive Committee was the selection of the venue for the congress in 2006. Three bids were made to the committee: Helsinki (by Riitta Hjerppe), Sydney (by Chris Lloyd) and Strasbourg (by Michel Hau). After a detailed discussion of the three proposals the Executive Committee decided in favour of the bid from Helsinki. The new rules - proposed by the reform commission, accepted by the executive committee and to be submitted to the General Assembly - imply that the organizer of the congress in 2006 will become vice-president in 2002, and take on the office of president in 2006.

The executive committee discussed at great length the other nominations for seats in the Executive Committee to be filled in 2002. These nominations were made by the member associations and evaluated by a nomination committee, existing of the president, the treasurer, the secretary-general, and one outside member. For the presidency (a special one, since the president will not organize a world congress) four excellent candidates were nominated. The Executive Committee decided to endorse the nomination made by the Economic History Association of Richard Sutch (UC-Riverside) for the presidency. As chairman of the Reform Commission Richard Sutch has played a central role in the reform process that began after the Madrid Congress, and the executive committee hopes to consolidate the reform process by endorsing his nomination. Moreover, the committee thinks that it is important to nominate a candidate who knows the IEHA well, and can therefore ensure a certain degree of continuity in the organization (in 2002 the General Assembly will also have to elect a new treasurer, vice-president, and 6 new sitting members of the executive committee). Finally, this would be the occasion to nominate a US-citizen for the presidency.

For the treasury, the Executive Committee decided to endorse the nomination of Chris Lloyd (New England University, Armidale, Australia). For sitting membership the following nominations were endorsed: Naomi Lamoreaux (UCLA ,USA), Om Prakash (Delhi School of Economics, India), Gianni Toniolo (Universita di Roma 'Tor Vergata', Italy, and Duke University, USA), Rolf Walter (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany), Carlos Marichal (Colegio de Mexico) and Forrest Capie (City University, London, UK). With these endorsements the Executive Committee chose not to change the geographical distribution of the membership of the committee radically; the most important modification in its regional spread is the nomination of a member from India.

I trust this letter has informed you about all decisions made and proposals put forward by the Executive Committee. In the next few months you will receive further information on the program for the Buenos Aires Congress. In the spring of 2002 I will send you the documents to prepare for the meeting of the General Assembly in July 2002 in Buenos Aires.

Jan Luiten van Zanden, Secretary General

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