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קול קורא // לכנס: היסטוריה גלובלית של נמלים חופשיים - התפתחות הכלכלה המדינית האירופית באוקיינוס האטלנטי ובאסיה [הלסינקי 06/19] דדליין=31.10.18

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A Global History of Free Ports: The Development of European Political Economy in the Atlantic and Asia

University of Helsinki, Centre for Intellectual History, 6-7 June 2019

The free port is a curious phenomenon. It developed historically in Italy during the waning years of the Renaissance, when competition to attract trade from the burgeoning Atlantic sphere prompted some states to open their ports to foreign
merchants and their goods. In time, the free port came to be defined as a territorial exclave endowed with its own economic policies, often of a liberal (or even libertine) cast; that is, as a place where merchants could do business with minimal  interference from state authorities. From Italy, the free port spread to the rest of Europe; in the eighteenth century to the Caribbean; and, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to the rest of the world. But though the free port is a curious
institution, it is not a marginal one. Many of the most famous ports in history—from Genoa and Hamburg to Singapore and Hong Kong—were free ports. Such ports were central to the trading systems in which they were situated, whether in
brokering commerce between distant localities, plugging a host state into the circuits of international exchange, or servicing a network of more regional ports. And ultimately, the free port is one of the ancestors of the modern special economic
zone, of which there are more than six thousand in the world today. The history of the free port is global and deserves to be told as such.

This conference aims to explore the history of political economy between Europe, the Atlantic and Asia. How did European geopolitical schemes and visions of commercial competition and peace spill over to the Atlantic and Asia
between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? How did European states model their national interests by establishing free entrepots or free ports? How was the reform of … READ MORE

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