Welcome to the website of the Institute for Economic and Social History!
Economic and social history is a genuinely interdisciplinary research area, to be understood both as a sub-discipline of historical research and as a transdisciplinary historical economic and social science.
As a historical social science it is characterized by the critical use and reflection of the methods and theories of economics, demography, sociology and many disciplines in business studies to explore the economic and social dimensions of the past. As such, it can be understood as central to a socio-economic teaching and research program. At the institute, we are mainly dedicated to research and teaching on long-run developments in the world economy and individual economies as well as on banking and financial history.
A special organizational section of our institute is dedicated to business history. Our Philosophy Division goes beyond the interdisciplinary agenda of economic and social history and engages in research and teaching on, among other things, the conditions and limits of knowledge as such. Additionally, our division for research on university history explores, in close cooperation with the University Archives, the history of this university itself within the wider context of university history research.
Some recent news from the institute and its staff:
The Institute for Economic and Social History and the European Business History Association organized the 21st Annual Congress of the EBHA, which took place at WU from August 24th to August 26th, 2017. The general topic was: “Transformation in Business and Society: An Historical Approach”. For further information see the WU-Memo on the topic and our German language Event-Archiv website.