The Record of Global Economic Development
Show Less

The Record of Global Economic Development

Eric Jones

The Record of Global Economic Development analyses the long-term and current economic forces which promote or impede globalisation, drawing on the experience of economic history to help interpret major trends in modern economies.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 3: The European Miracle and its Relevance

Eric Jones


INTRODUCTION This chapter is not simply about my book, The European Miracle, which was first published in 1981, but its ‘relevance’.1 The subtitle of the book is Environments, Economies and Geopolitics in the History of Europe and Asia. In the text I analysed and contrasted the economic histories of these two continents but did not link either history to the present day. As indicated in the previous chapters, I explicitly rejected the idea of ‘relevance’, in that I warned against equating the institutions of the past with those of the present. In 1988 I repeated my belief in the virtues of pure scholarship in a second book, Growth Recurring, which has the subtitle Economic Change in World History. Economic history can help us draw maps of the processes of growth but we should not presume that paths through the forest of long-dead circumstances are a detailed guide to modern routes - the social landmarks have usually changed too much for that.2 The second book supplements and to some extent corrects the first; for instance, it tries to incorporate the Tokugawa Japanese experience into my overall version of world economic history. A little more on Japan’s remarkable early achievement appears in my chapters of a third book, written with Joop Goudsblom and Stephen Mennell, and called The Course of Human History: Economic Growth, Social Process, and Civilization.3 These three books contain most of what I have had to say about world economic history. THE ISSUE OF ‘RELEVANCE’ Historical analogies are dangerous....

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.