a1 Ataturk Institute of Modern Turkish History, Bogaziçi University, Istanbul, and European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, London; e-mail: email@example.com
Until recently the discipline of economic history was concerned mostly with the Industrial Revolution and the period since. A large majority of the research and writing focused on Great Britain, western Europe, and the United States. There has been a striking change in the last three decades. Economic historians today are much more interested in the earlier periods: the early modern and medieval eras and even the ancient economies of the Old World. They have been gathering empirical materials and employing various theories to make sense of the evolution of these economies. Equally important, there has been a resurgence in the studies of developing regions of the world. Global economic history, focusing on all regions of the world and their interconnectedness since ancient times, is on its way to becoming a major field of study. Even the Industrial Revolution, the most central event of economic history, is being studied and reinterpreted today not as a British or even western European event but as a breakthrough resulting from many centuries of interaction between Europe and the rest of the world.
(Online publication July 26 2012)