Asia-Pacific Economic and Business History conference, Canberra (Australia) 16-18 February 2012

Asia-Pacific Economic and Business History Conference 2012

2012 Theme: Economic Integration, Historical Perspectives from Europe and the Asia-Pacific region

Dates and place: 16-18 February 2012, Canberra (Australia)

Venue: Australian National University

Organisation: Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand

Conference website:

Call for Papers

Papers and proposals for sessions are invited for the APEBH 2012 conference. The main conference theme is ‘Economic Integration: Historical Perspectives from Europe and Asia-Pacific’ but the organisers are open to proposals for contributions on other topics in economic, social, and business history, as well as to proposals for sessions on particular themes. Researchers across a broad range of disciplines are warmly welcomed. Early career researchers are encouraged to participate. The conference organisers are particularly interested in attracting papers that examine developments in countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific region and papers that provide an international comparative perspective.

Economic integration is generally considered to be an aspect of the current process of globalisation. The European Union (EU) is often held up as a possible model for fostering the process of regional economic integration in Asia. However, the integration process in Europe since the 1950s has been a formal process by which member states handed some authorities to the supranational EU. But throughout history, processes of economic integration of factor and product markets occurred through both informal and formal processes. They occurred across regions within countries as transport facilities improved. They occurred across the borders of neighbouring countries as bilateral trade barriers were reduced, and in regions of the world due to multilateral initiatives. Formal agreements were not necessarily a prerequisite for economic integration. Private enterprises often took international business initiatives, despite the continued existence of barriers to international trade and investment. Formal processes of lowering such barriers followed. Where tariffs had been lowered, deepening integration by reducing non-tariff trade barriers remained an ongoing process. This happened in countries that became federations (e.g. USA, Germany, Malaysia), and countries concluding bilateral (e.g. Australia-New Zealand) and multilateral trade agreements.

Hence, there are historical experiences abound. What lessons can be drawn from comparative historical perspectives on processes of economic integration? How were such processes taken from one level to the next, how were issues of differential regulation dealt with, how did private enterprises seize new business opportunities and influence the process of integration, and what consequences did cross-border integration have for markets and societies? Lastly, integration has rarely been a linear process, but one of leaps and bounds. What can we learn from cases when integration processes rebounded? Are they fragile processes that need continuous energising to avoid being taken for granted?

Our theme could be approached from a number of perspectives, including those of the cliometrician, the economic historian, the economic theorist, the business historian, the applied economist, as well as the social historian. There is scope for new interpretations, new findings, as well as syntheses of existing work.


Dr John Singleton, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield (UK), mailto:[log in to unmask]  
A/Professor Jim McAloon, Victoria University, Wellington (New Zealand), mailto:[log in to unmask] 
Dr Keir Reeves, Monash University, Melbourne (Australia), mailto:[log in to unmask] 

Paper abstracts of one page may be submitted at any time up to the closing date of 30 November 2011. A decision on proposals will be made within a month of submission. Session proposals of one page may be submitted up to the same date, outlining the main objectives of the session and potential participants. You are not obliged to submit your full paper for refereeing. Complete versions of accepted papers should be sent to us by 4 February 2012 for posting on the conference website.

Some universities require staff attending conferences to have their papers refereed. If this is the case in your institution, please submit the full paper by the 30 November 2011 due date for the double blind refereeing process.

A conference paper prize will be awarded. A selection of papers (subject to the normal reviewing process and standards) may be published in Australian Economic History Review: An Asia-Pacific Journal of Economic, Business and Social History (see: ). Further details about the conference and this Call for Papers can be found at this web page:

The web page of the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand is:  


A/Professor Pierre van der Eng | School of Management, Marketing and International Business (MMIB) | Deputy Director, ANU Centre for European Studies (ANUCES) | ANU College of Business and Economics, Crisp Building 26 | The Australian National University | Canberra ACT 0200 | Australia | T: +61 2 6125 5438 (MMIB) or +61 2 6125 7930 (ANUCES) | F: +61 2 6125 8796 | E: [log in to unmask] | W: | ANU CRICOS provider number is 00120C

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