Economic, Social and Environmental History

What is Economic, Social and Environmental History?

Economic, Social and Environmental History aims to understand and explain the historical connections between economic, social and ecological change. It asks how historical societies were organised, which social orders prevailed, how gender relations determined social life and why social inequalities developed. It is interested in the social generation of material wealth, its distribution and reproduction as well as its consumption. And it also analyses the transformation of socio-natural conditions by asking how social processes interact with ecological processes and how people related to the rest of nature. By connecting the three categories of sustainability – economic, social and environmental –, economic, social and environmental history gives historical depth to the concept of sustainable development.

Economic, Social and Environmental History, as we understand it, is neither limited to a fixed space nor to a specific time. Rather, it pursues its objects of investigation beyond traditional spatial and temporal boundaries and thus creates its own topographies (such as the regional or global) and time divisions (such as those of the longue durée or economic cycles).




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