Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE European Industrialisation and Mediterranean Underdevelopment

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The study-unit is divided in two main parts, starting with an introduction on the history of economic thought. The main objective here is to provide the conceptual tools and theoretical setting which would make the history of Western European industrialization and Mediterranean Underdevelopment much more comprehensible to students. We therefore start by discussing economic ideas systematically as they developed in time and in different cultural, social and political settings. Emphasis, will be laid on the fluidity of such economic notions and principles as they evolved from one body of thought to another up till the present. The main schools of thought which will be discussed here are: Mercantilism; Physiocracy; Utilitarianism; Classical and Neo classical Economics; Marxism; the Keynesian school; Third Worldism and Dependency theories.

The second part of the study-unit deals with the historical process of industrialization in Europe and the impact this left on the Mediterranean as an underdeveloped region.

We start by discussing the origins and development of the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the spread of industrialization in Western Europe throughout the nineteenth century, from a comparative perspective. The course is structured around these main topics:

The debate on the Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism: A critical overview
The agricultural revolution
Dynamics of industrial growth in Britain
Different patterns of industrial growth in Europe
Comparative socio-economic structures of the early and late industrial countries
The construction and growth of national markets
The industrial nations and the development of the world capitalist economy.

We then examine the process of incorporation of the Mediterranean in the World Economic System as an underdeveloped region. We do this by critically examining the major historical theses on the transformation of the Mediterranean ‘region’ from a relatively autonomous economic system (self-sufficient in agricultural production) before the sixteenth century, into a fragmented periphery of industrial Europe by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

This study-unit, conducted via lectures and a series of seminars, aims to provide students with the basic historical knowledge, the more recent theoretical debates and research findings on the structure of economic underdevelopment and dependence experienced by this region. On-going reference will be made to specific case studies from Southern Europe (Spain, Greece and Italy) and from North Africa and Turkey.
Some of the key themes dealt with in the second part of the study-unit are:

‘An autonomous Mediterranean economy’: questioning the notion
European Industrialization and the ‘development of underdevelopment’ in the South
The unification of regional markets and the nation states
Imperial expansion; neocolonialism; post-colonialism
Projecting the ‘Southern Question’
Different ways of incorporation in the world economy system
Structures of dependence and the lack of industrial growth
Regional patterns of uneven development


This study-unit aims to: provide students with: 1. a systematic understanding of the main economic principles and theories which would enable them to come to terms with the historical process of industrialization in Europe and underdevelopment in the Mediterranean; 2. knowledge on the origins and development of Industrialization from Britain to Western Europe throughout the nineteenth century, from a comparative perspective and; 3. a better understand the more recent theoretical debates and research findings on economic underdevelopment as experienced by different Mediterranean countries.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to understand the different principles underling the main schools of economic thought in history in a systematic manner; gain the necessary knowledge to be able top apply theoretical and historiographical arguments to better understand the process of industrialization in North Western Europe and that of Underdevelopment in the Mediterranean region.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to identify causal links and trends in economic processes; critically evaluate main schools of economic thinking; apply the economic ideas of development/underdevelopment in history.

Reading List:

History of Economic Thought:
• S. L. Brue, The Evolution of Economic Thought, 1994.
• W. J. Barber, A History of Economic Thought, 1991.
• L. Robbins, A History of Economic Thought: The LSE lectures, 2000.
• B.R. Bowen and M. Ufuk Tutan, History of Economic Thought, 2008.

Industrialisation and Mediterranean Underdevelopment:
• K. Gunnar Persson, An Economic History of Europe: Knowledge, Institutions, and Growth: 600 to the Present (2010)
• R.E. Backhouse, The Penguin History of Economics, 2002.
• S. Amin, Imperialism and Unequal Development, 1990.
• R. Hudson and J. Lewis, Uneven Development in Southern Europe, 1985.
• J. Foreman-Peck, A History of the World Economy. International Economic Relations Since 1850, 1995.
• N.F.R. Crafts, British Economic Growth during the Industrial Revolution, 1985.
• Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective, 1969.
• T. Kemp, Historical Patterns of Industrialization, 1978.
• P. Mathias, The First Industrial Nation, 1983.
• H. Van Der Wee, Prosperity and Upheavel. The World Economy 1945-1980, 1991.
• P. Mathias and J.A. Davis (eds.), The First Industrial Revolutions, 1989.
• Pamuk and J.G.Williams, Mediterranean Response to Globalization before 1950, 2007.

ADDITIONAL NOTES This study-unit is offered to History/European and Global History students only.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM1 No 25%
Essay SEM1 Yes 75%

LECTURER/S John Chircop

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.