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Historical patterns of development and underdevelopment: Origins and persistence of the great divergence
HIPOD final conference

10 September 2012, Brussels, Belgium
Résidence Palace, rue de la Loi 155


HI-POD aims at advancing our understanding of the causes of development and underdevelopment by quantifying the relative growth experiences of the European core and periphery, and the rest of the world, from the Middle Ages until today; and by analysing the intra-regional and inter-regional causes of these divergent trends.

Understanding the 'great' and 'little' divergences between Northwest Europe and the rest of Europe, and between Europe and the rest of the world, implies considerable challenges, both in terms of quantification and analysis. In terms of quantification, the major European challenges are to be found in the pre-1800 period, although much work remains to be done in quantifying post-1800 performance elsewhere.

HI-POD explicitly explores the "relations between world regions and the factors shaping different development paths in a historical perspective" We will be explicitly focussing on the experiences of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and will be drawing not only upon European-based scholars but on a Latin American partner to this end. In terms of the specific topic addressed, the project focuses explicitly on the way in which "development processes have and are being affected by relations between world regions and countries", and on the links between uneven development and such relationships. The project looks at whether and how uneven development is linked to such relations, both past and present; at "the extent to which historical relationships such as colonial and post-colonial relations affect today's development paths"; at "the role of urbanisation"; and at "gender and development relations".