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"Agrarian Issues in the 'New History of Capitalism'"

After a quarter of a century of propagating the almost universally proclaimed lack of alternatives to capitalism, historians have rediscovered capitalism as a controversial object of research, at the latest with the financial crisis of 2008. There is talk of the "reemergence of a historical concept" (Jürgen Kocka/Marcel van der Linden), a "new history of capitalism" is called for (Sven Beckert), and the historians' guild is urged to "think" "global capitalism" historically (Friedrich Lenger). As meritorious as this recent awakening in historical capitalism research is, one blank space is particularly perplexing: the almost complete silence on the role of agriculture in the process of industrial capitalist transformation of the 19th and 20th centuries. This lecture begins at this neglected point and sketches some perspectives on the relevance of agrarian issues in recent historical research on capitalism.

Lecture by Dr. Juri Auderset (Bern)

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