Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

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Saturday 15 April 2023 08.30 - 10.30
V-13 SOC13 Inequalities
Västra Hamngatan 25 AK2 134
Network: Social Inequality Chair: Oran Kennedy
Organizers: - Discussants: -
Bezawit Abebe Difabachew, Klas Rönnbäck : Long-term Trends of Inequality and Living Standards in Ethiopia, 1935-2020
There is ongoing debate on the effect of colonial education on the historical
development of human capital in former colonized African countries. There are two opposing views on the impact of colonial education. The advocates argue that colonial education policy played a key role in the development of human capital ... (Show more)
There is ongoing debate on the effect of colonial education on the historical
development of human capital in former colonized African countries. There are two opposing views on the impact of colonial education. The advocates argue that colonial education policy played a key role in the development of human capital in former colonized African countries.
On the contrary, the opponents consider ‘colonialism’ as a devastating factor that mainly contributed to the differences in the development of human capital in former colonized African countries. Both strands of literature only explain the evolution of human capital based on data from colonies only and compared the impact of different colonizers with the former colonized
African countries. However, they do not measure the impact of colonialism since they do not compare the impact of colonialism with non-colonized African countries. Thus, the present study considers Ethiopia as a case study, a country that has never been colonized. The paper aims to address this research question: was literacy rate lower in Ethiopia than in other African countries? To address the research question, the study uses Ethiopian marriage records as source material to measure historical literacy development from the period 1943 to 1991. This study measures the historical development of literacy using the signature ability of both couples and witnesses. (Show less)

Ricard Garcia-Orallo : Facing the Social Ladder. Catalan Landowners on the Eve of the Twentieth Century
The historiography shows that the impact of the agrarian crisis at the end of the 19th century on the social structure of the European rural world was complex and diverse. On the one hand, the fall in income from land favoured the diversification of landowners' investments and, in many cases, ... (Show more)
The historiography shows that the impact of the agrarian crisis at the end of the 19th century on the social structure of the European rural world was complex and diverse. On the one hand, the fall in income from land favoured the diversification of landowners' investments and, in many cases, the abandonment of the activity. This often resulted in downward social mobility. On the other hand, the situation allowed many peasants to gain access to land ownership.
In the Catalan case, many studies have provided examples in both directions. But we lack sufficiently ambitious analyses, chronologically and spatially, to provide more general insights into the social mobility in the rural world during that period
This research focuses on the main 150 large estates that, between 1875 and 1905, were auctioned in Catalonia as a result of judicial proceedings for unpaid debts. The aim is to systematically study their subsequent trajectory (were they finally sold? did they maintain their integrity or were they parcelled up? who acquired them?), as well as that of the families who had owned them. The number of cases analysed will make it possible to combine quantitative and qualitative approaches. First of all, the Land Registry, a source little frequented by social historians, will be used in order to monitor the estates concerned. Secondly, a prosopographical study of the indebted landowners and their descendants will be carried out to assess their pattern of social mobility.
Despite the intense process of industrialisation in Catalonia, the social groups related to agriculture and land ownership maintained an important weight. It is necessary to have a better understanding of their social dynamics, since behind them lie, in all likelihood, some of the causes of the conflicts experienced in Catalonia during the first third of the 20th century. (Show less)

Radoslaw Poniat, Piotr Guzowski : The Economic Inequalities among the Ruling Class of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The paper’s goal is to analyse the economical differentiation among the ruling class of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at the end of the 18th century. It would allow not only to describe the economical inequality among the country elites but also to investigate the important connection between the wealth stratification and ... (Show more)
The paper’s goal is to analyse the economical differentiation among the ruling class of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at the end of the 18th century. It would allow not only to describe the economical inequality among the country elites but also to investigate the important connection between the wealth stratification and political power in the early modern societies.

For our study we are using a wide set of tax registers from the several regions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Those regions now belongs to the modern day Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. Those registers are describing the income of every noble landlord in the given region with the additional information concerning the income structure and the presence of the noble tenants.

In the paper, apart form the simple description of the different levels of economic inequality among the nobility in the selected regions of the Commonwealth, we are going to study the influence of those inequalities on the political life of the given region. For example we are going to investigate from which wealth level it was possible to held local offices, be elected to the parlament or obtain higher, state level offices. Our focus on the nobility is especially important since it was the only social class allowed to participate in the political life of the Commonwealth. In contest to another European states it was quite numerous group ranging from 2 to even 45% of the whole population of some regions. Moreover this estate was not legally divided into the subclasses which meant that at last int the theory every noble was allowed not only to participate in the local and state-level parliamentary politics but also could be elected for every office. Of course, in reality only the higher strata of nobility was politically active and petty nobility’s participation was limited and resulted mainly from the cliental ties with the more powerful nobles. Those cliental ties were the result of the economical dependence of the poorer, quite often even landless, petty nobility who needed economical support of the reacher nobles and magnates. (Show less)

Oana Sorescu-Iudean : Wealth and Homeownership in Urban Transylvania, 1680-1830
This paper examines living standards and social stratification in two of Transylvania’s largest cities, Sibiu (Hermannstadt) and Brasov (Kronstadt), between roughly 1680 and 1830, based on an analysis of cca. 4000 probate records kept by the respective town councils. Founded by the German-speaking colonists settled by the Hungarian kings in ... (Show more)
This paper examines living standards and social stratification in two of Transylvania’s largest cities, Sibiu (Hermannstadt) and Brasov (Kronstadt), between roughly 1680 and 1830, based on an analysis of cca. 4000 probate records kept by the respective town councils. Founded by the German-speaking colonists settled by the Hungarian kings in the 12th-13th centuries on the borders of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, the two cities exhibited different social-economic profiles and assumed different functionalities over the course of the late medieval period: Brasov grew into the region’s most important commercial center while Sibiu became the administrative capital for the Transylvanian Saxon minority, a task it also fulfilled for the entire province after it was incorporated into Habsburg lands in the late 17th century. It was in Brasov that the institution of probate – meant to safeguard the transmission of sizeable moveable estates – was first established in the 1580s.
The paper represents a pilot study of living standards in early modern/modern Transylvania and is the first to provide a systematic view of probate in this milieu. It also adds to the sizeable but fragmented discourse on the evolution of the social structure of the province, which has heretofore focused primarily on the rural milieu and on findings derived from fiscal conscriptions.
It achieves these purposes by drawing a comparison between the social-economic profiles exhibited by the probated groups in both cities, without neglecting the issue of potential biases of probate registration. It explores in parallel the social-occupational makeup of the probated groups as encoded into HISCO/HISCLASS as well as their economic standing as expressed in terms of wealth size and composition. Under this heading, it targets especially real estate ownership, a politically fraught issue that witnessed significant changes in the 1780s-1790s, when the right to purchase/own houses in the urban fold was liberalized despite Transylvanian Saxon opposition, alongside a supposed liberalization of the urban franchise. The paper seeks to shed light on this transition and its potential effects on the homeowning decedents’ group, while also identifying other broad changes experienced by estate composition, in terms of actives/passives and movables/immovables. (Show less)

Yuliya Yurchenko : Neoliberal De-development and Social Reproduction in Post-1991 Ukraine: Lessons for Foundational Economy, Polycentricity and the Integral State
COVID-19 pandemic suppression exacerbated and exposed the worst (gendered) effects of the marketised and austerity-driven erosion of foundational economies globally. The post-Soviet space where foundational economy was fully funded and universally supplied until 1989-91 presents a unique empirical field where market, austerity and COVID-19 disruption can be explored as a ... (Show more)
COVID-19 pandemic suppression exacerbated and exposed the worst (gendered) effects of the marketised and austerity-driven erosion of foundational economies globally. The post-Soviet space where foundational economy was fully funded and universally supplied until 1989-91 presents a unique empirical field where market, austerity and COVID-19 disruption can be explored as a historicised comparison. Since 1991 the region experienced institutional transformation, including redefining the role of the state in the economy and de-development expressed in real-wage depreciation, high rates of inflation, currency depreciation, rapid rises in utility costs, under-investment and uneven dismantling of infrastructure and public services, including healthcare, leading to economically driven migration, often of overqualified persons for low skill, care and sex work. Far from empowering women, capitalist marketisation instead eroded the social structural/institutional scaffolding that propped up production and social reproduction in the Soviet republics, presently shifting the weight of the latter from the previously socialized services back into the households, back onto women. Socio-economic disempowerment of women also reignited (dormant) social sexism. Rooting in Neo-Gramscian/Poulantzasian state theory, Ostrom’s theory of polycentricity/socio-ecological systems, and economic theories of public services provision this paper defines the socio-economic guarantees women enjoyed/lacked as a class in the USSR. It explores the role of foundational economy and the state in tackling socio-economic and gendered inequalities via the case study of Ukraine’s historicized pandemic (mis)management and over 8 years of war with Russia. It then exposes the trajectories of those guarantees’ deterioration since 1991 as conditioned by the disruption of the FE in the country, reduced role of the state (support) and increased marketisation. I argue that de-development and gendered inequalities resultant from marketisation can be addressed by (1) full state provision and public ownership of the foundational economy combined with (2) democratic control over productive units of the economy based on principles of Polycentricity while (3) abandoning state/society/capital complexes for integral states. (Show less)



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