We propose three broad clusters corresponding to three distinct research perspectives and three clusters within PSL. All three cover a predominant window of time, without being limited to it. Each is marked by dominant methodologies but clearly interdisciplinary.
The first cluster concerns the globalization of politics, understood as a transnationalization of models and ideal types of political action, in order to identify what is at stake in global era politics. What is new and what is old in the circulations of slogans and emerging modes of action, both in authoritarian and democratic regimes? How to theorize and study the dissemination of discursive repertoires as well as repertoires of action beyond the framework of the nation state? While public space, which has been studied as the hearth of western democracy (Jürgen Habermas), was historically linked to the formation of nation states and to a linguistic community, this cluster would aim to promote research around the themes of emerging movements — such as the Arab revolutions and movements of the public place — and of the nature of public violence. This cluster appeals to the community of historians, political scientists and sociologists at Paris Dauphine, at the EHESS and at the ENS, as well as the historians of religion at the EPHE, and is coordinated by Nilüfer Göle, sociologist at the EHESS, and Choukri Hmed, political scientist at Paris Dauphine.
The second cluster seeks to turn upside-down the narrative of western hegemony over the world in the modern and contemporary periods, by studying, from a longue durée perspective, its principal manifestations: colonialism, economic domination and universalism. Crucial to our approach is the decentering of analyses based on the observation that present-day interactions between the different parts of the world are not a new phenomenon, and that, to a large extent, they fall outside the scope of European colonial or universalist history. These connections are rooted in five centuries of history, during which migrations and trade, empires, city states as well as nation states, religion as well as environment, and of course wars, have contributed to shaping the world and to interlinking its different parts. This cluster is organized around the collaboration between the EPHE, the EHESS and the ENS. It will be coordinated by Hélène Blais of the ENS, Claudia Damasceno Fonseca of the EHESS and Alessandro Stanziani (CNRS and EHESS). This cluster builds on a pre-existing structure, namely the Global History Collaborative, a very active network linking entre universities at Tokyo, Princeton, Berlin with the EHESS organized by Alessandro Stanziani.
It is, however, by no means self-evident that the arrival of westerners in Asia and the Americas constituted the first globalization. The longue durée of global interactions cannot be truly gauged as long as historical researchers limit themselves to an era ethnocentrically defined as “modern”. There is no teleological path to globalization and even within the “modern” era, numerous societies have participated in processes of globalization without having left and written traces of the roles that they have played. A multidisciplinary conception of history, involving any discipline able to throw light on the past as well as the present — in our case: of the processes of long-distance human interactions — will therefore be the dominant concept of our third cluster, which will bring together historians sensu stricto with archeologists, anthropologists, linguists, des philologists, etc. This cluster will, furthermore, approach the subject of circulation in the history of mankind by taking Asie rarther than Europe as its point of departure and point of reference, doing so over the very longue durée. It will be coordinated by Arlo Griffiths, of the EFEO, together with Pascal Bourdeaux, of the EPHE. It will unite scholars of the EPHE, the EFEO, the Collège de France and the ENS, and, more marginally, the EHESS. With over 80 academics attached to the EPHE, to the EHESS and to the EFEO, the specialists of Asian studies at PSL represent what is without doubt the strongest concentration of Asia scholars in any European academic institution, and they can rely, through the networks of centres of the EFEO (Pondicherry, Kyoto, Siem Reap, Beijing, Jakarta …), on an unparalleled scholarly presence in Asia.
- This proposal outlines a format for recasting global studies as a global enterprise, creating a space for graduate students to formulate ideas and refine research strategies collaboratively across institutional boundaries and national traditions. Unlike most of the mentioned programs, we offer an extremely ambitious program in both research and teaching.
- More than in other competitive programs, we include many specialists in different area studies, such as Ottomanists, Sinologists, South-Asianists, Americanists, Africanists, as well as different European areas, covering several centuries — not limited to the modern and contemporary — and adding a whole array of social sciences, themselves able to work on global connections and local dimensions. We have three real and fully coordinated “legs” to stand on: history, area studies, and social sciences.
- Our project aims at problematizing the “global” itself in order to avoid simple tautologies. In our approach, the global is a posture aiming at decentralizing the west while opening up area studies. Instead of opposing “Europe” to “Asia” or “Africa” and “the Americas”, or comparing nation state parts of it such as France, China, India or Britain, we will explain their mutual connections, identifying units constituted by particular actors at particular points of time.
- We intend to preserve the specificity of given areas in their historical and present dimensions. At the same time, unlike conventional approaches in area studies, we consider that “specificity” requires to be analytically and empirically defined, rather than just being assumed. Generally speaking, the territories as well as the social and political hierarchies of these areas tended to change over time.
- We reject monodisciplinary approaches and, at the other extreme, the superficial mix up of different fields. Instead, we consider that a dominant discipline has to be preserved while being nourished by suggestions and methods from other fields. We suggest to develop a heuristic of temporal dynamics in which humanities’ and history’s tools can contribute to historicize the categories of social sciences while adopting their major insights. From this perspective, we will not rely only on Western scholarship and notions but equally on other historiographies and approaches developed before, during and after the “expansion on the West”.
- With a large team made of scholars in humanities and social sciences, we are well equipped against the conventional opposition between those who look at the past to explain the present and those who advocate the inevitable burden (or stimulus, as the case may be) of the present to explain the past. We will strongly encourage heuristics in which contingencies, options, and possibilities are considered beyond historical determinism. This posture can be adequately defended only on the ground of a multi-scale, interdisciplinary approach. Concretely, many themes — such as policies and sovereignty, labor, violence and imperial integration, global economic dynamics, circulation of knowledge — are common to our three clusters.
The interaction between humanities and social sciences is constitutive of the EHESS and now PSL. Our approach renews this tradition and adds to it the new dimension of intimate familiarity with non-European areas and worldviews. We believe that we will be able to go well beyond Braudel and his school, by including global perspectives into multi-dimensional and multi-centered approached based upon local sources and languages while emphasizing a strong interaction between disciplines.
Our project covers research, networking and teaching. Research will be organized according to the aforementioned clusters that will be presented in more details in the following pages.
Teaching is, however, no less essential: we will rely upon ongoing seminars on global and area studies already existing at the EHESS, ENS, EPHE, Dauphine University. To these, a new seminar on global studies related to this program will be added. In line with our approach outlined above, this seminar will discuss transversal methodological and empirical questions, invite international and national guests, and contribute to setting students on track to integration into international milieux.
A special Master Degree (Specialization) in Trans-national History is being created at PSL, led by Hélène Blais and with the participation of the other members of our team. Students are required to gain competence in at least three languages, two area studies and trans-national connections.
We are at the same time developing an international course in global history: the EHESS, the Humboldt and Freie Universities collaborate on a PhD program in Global Intellectual History (Andreas Eckert and Alessandro Stanziani are responsible for the respective sides).
At PSL, Asian studies also play a central role: special teaching and scientific programs are under way and this project will strict collaborate with these initiatives.
Thanks to this project, these different initiatives will be easily integrated into one single project — global studies in each institution, MA and PHD in Global Studies.
In our budget, we assign major importance to workshops, conferences, summer schools, as well as to publications, translations (from French into English and other languages and viceversa) and the teaching of several languages (four in this program) (budget here after).
International exchange of both students and scholars will also be central to our program. To this aim, we integrate supports for visiting scholars into our budget. However, at this stage of the project, and during its first three years (which we consider as an exploratory phase), we will not provide full PhD fellowships to our students. These will be provided by other funds, either internal to PSL, or external.
We will rely on collaborations that are already underway among members of the international council (see list hereafter) and the PSL scholars (collaborations with Princeton, Humboldt, University of Tokyo, NYU and Ann Arbor).
These programs will continue to exist but we are keen to develop collaborations with them. The presence of main leaders of these programs in our team will certainly facilitate this goal.
A brand new collaborative project will be added with the NYU Center of Global Studies at the University of Shangai under the direction of Tansen Sen.
These programs will be articulated through our international scientific council.
The first cluster is built around the globalization of politics, taken as a transnationalization of models and ideal types of political action (both institutional and counter-institutional, both peaceful and violent), in order better to gauge what is at stake in the political in the global age. Although “modernity” cannot be defined exclusively through its western version, it is nevertheless the case that it is marked by the limited spread, in the non-western societies, of models of political domination and of the contestation of such domination. We are still far removed from the “liquid modernity” assumed by some scholars, who take for granted free movement of goods and people between North and South and assert all too quickly the cosmopolitan and detached character of global citizenship. How can we theorize and study the dissemination of discursive repertoires as well as repertoires of action beyond the framework of the Nation state? How should we understand the multiple forms of secularism and religious revival, the emergence of authoritarian political forms, both in countries such as India and in Europe? This cluster would aim to promote research on emerging movements of transnational impact — such as the “Arab revolutions” and movements of the public space —, on the realignments of states and political spaces, on migrations as well as the disintegration of societies by global violence. Our work would contribute to tearing down the heretofore solid academic boundaries between Middle Eastern Studies and African Studies on the one hand; between the analysis of states and social movements on the other; and finally between history, anthropology, sociology and political science. We would rely empirically on the principles advanced by the social anthropology of Global Ethnography, which makes it possible to connect large-scale processes and the fine-grained observation of everyday life.
New forms of public protest
We need to identify and study the new issues of politics in the global era. Public space, which has been studied as the hub of western democracy, was historically linked to the formation of nation states and to a linguistic community. But today, through technologies of communication and social networks, through migration phenomena and through global cities, public space has become the locus of intersection and circulation, as it is crossed by transnational dynamics. Public space under the influence of globality demands a rethinking of the connection between the public sphere and democracy, of new forms of citizenship and of politics.
Since about twenty years, we are witnessing a new type of protest all over the globe. From the Arab world to western capitals, from Turkey to Brazil via the Ukraine, we observe a wave of protest movements. These movements are typically associated with the places, the spaces that they occupy, notably Tahrir Square, Gezi Park, Occupy Wall Street, and Maidan. The demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989 were a precursor of of these movements. Despite their differences, these movements each reveal social difficulties in the face of environmental problems, economic crisis and cultural pluralism. They figure new modes of acting in public and in global circulation of new repertoires of action. Art is becoming an essential part of a new culture of public protest. These protests in the public place bring to the fore a new political citizenship belonging to various cultural spheres that needs to be questioned. How do these new “global” citizens deploy personal modes of action and do they extend the political field to visual and performative expressions? How to rethink the relationship between what is public and what is political?
Violence in the global era
The thinking of the “ancients” (Ibn Khaldûn, Machiavelli, even Hobbes) on the city, the state and civilization took into account the potential disintegration of societies. The social sciences at the turn of the 20th century understood violence as an expression of social anomie in modern societies considered to be in need of “regulation”. The phenomenological approach, which was dominant during a large part of the 20th century, emphasized the need to considered violence in a broader context, including relationships of power and domination, but it generally failed to take into account the transformative effects that violence has on societies. The “return” of violence and the dismantling of societies are at the heart of the configuration and destruction of politics on a global scale. The dynamics of decolonization, just as much as the heritage of empires, are becoming part of politics, playing out at various scales, regional, national and global.
The crisis of the massive disintegration that is currently being experienced in vast areas of the Middle East and Africa makes it more necessary than ever before to analyze the modes of violence. The display of violence in which neighborship plays a central role characterizes the explosion of Ex-Yugoslavia (1991–1995) just as much as the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda (1994), Irak after 2003, and at least the phase of the present war in Syria. The public exhibition of violence, the rape of women and the massacring of children, would expose itself a second time, and at a substantially larger scale, by the spread of images of this violence on social networks, portable phones, internet sites, etc.
Exile and narratives
New migratory flows lead to a reflection on the use of political terminology, such as the difference between “migrants”, “exiles” and “refugees”. Mapping exile and migration at a time when entire populations, under threat of their very life, are simply demanding the right to have a place where they’ll finally be able to live, requires questioning the strength of borders which mankind builds in its midst. Now these borders which stand in the way of the idea of a global word where movement would ostensibly be less constrained, cannot be reduced to their material manifestations, such as walls, barbed wire, check points, oceans, seas etc. They are also the words, narratives, languages, grammars (of eviction but also of rescue) that require the efficiency of the selections, the hierarchies, but also of the resistances, the circumventions, and transgressions.
Rethinking exile in the global era thus requires studying languages of exile and migration, not only the national languages, but also and primarily the construction of migrant narratives, those which do or do not lead to the effect of validation.
But we do not merely have the ambition to collect testimonies, because they do not exhaust the reality of lived experiences. Even the terms are unsuited to this purpose, because they are directly dependent upon the social logics that uphold or invalidate their legitimacy. This is why we attach greater importance to semantic trajectories; those which, for instance, transform an asylum seeker either into a refugee or into an illegal alien, by their mere utterance; or also those which confer upon an individual’s account the status of collective epic. It is precisely all these collective and individual incarnations, subjectivities, their contradictions, which global studies aim to investigate, taking as object of analysis the language actually uttered by human beings through its grammars and narrative, discursive practices as well as artistic forms.
Political realignments in the Middle East and in Africa from global perspective
This research cluster will make every effort to avoid the evaluative perspective that dominates public debate about the “Arab revolutions” and more generally the political transformations that characterize the Middle East and Africa today. Rather than approaching the question of political renewal in terms of success or failure, we will emphasize empirical enquiry and concrete analysis of the process of realignment of political fields (parties, associations, compromises, games of alliance), and of redefinition of institutions and legislations. How are political spaces and regimes being redrawn, now that they are largely interconnected on the regional and global levels? These issues will be addressed through three lines of enquiry, which are radically transformed by the global dimension: the first concerns social and economic justice; the second, realignments of movements and parties of the Left; the third, the historical sociology of political regimes and states in the global era.
Social and economic justice and globalization
The protest movements that started a new cycle of uprisings in late 2010 and early 2011 in the whole Arab world but also in a part of Africa were not only connected with political liberties but also with issues of social and economic justice. These dynamics are far from being mutually isolated and disconnected. Since 2013, these protests have expanded in some countries (Tunisia, Lebanon) while they have receded in others (Egypt). Going beyond the paradigm of spontaneity which tends to ignore that social bases of uprisings, we will need to question the forms and structures of discontent, paying special attention to modes of action and organization of social groups. How are social movements constructed? What is the place of labor organizations in the different countries? To what extent do issues of social and economic justice circulate, or not, between professional groups but also between the countries in question?
Transformations of the Left in the global era.
The “disappearance of ideologies” after the fall of the Wall in 1989 has undeniably precipitated the decline of references to socialism and to communism throughout the world. Still, in those African and Middle Eastern countries which, over the course of the last decade, have seen large scale popular uprisings, the movements or parties self-identifying as leftist (whether socialist, Marxist-Leninist, communist, social-democratic, or otherwise), have played a central role in politicizing the events of protest, but also in the political field restructured on the occasion or as result of those events. Now, these various manifestations of the Left have become governmental, sometimes relying on forms of authoritarian restauration (Egypt), joining the powers in place that derived from the former regimes (Tunisia), or else giving way to the injunctions of international monetary organizations. Sometimes, they are simply absent from processes of protests and civil war (Yemen, Syria, Libya), or greatly weakened (Morocco). In this framework, we intend to stimulate research that takes into account the circulation of militants and political leaders of these formations in the international spaces constituted by the African and Middle Eastern states.
Historical sociology of the political regimes of the African and Middle Eastern states in the global era
In this part of the world, the state remains the dominant political form in the contemporary era, despite the globalization of goods and persons and despite its weakening by transnational movements (in particular of the type of the Islamic State Organization or Al Qaeda). It is important to get a grip not only on the realignments of its authoritarian variety after the two formative episodes that were decolonization and independence, on the one hand, and on the other hand the transitions to democracy exemplified by the “Arab revolutions”. From this perspective, the political trajectory of the Turkish regime, the modes of political expression observed there, and the modalities of this country’s participation in globalization make it a particularly well-adapted laboratory for testing several of the questions of our research program, in order to obtain results that may be exchanged with and thrown into perspective by other clusters of IEG-PSL.
State of the art
Current historiography rejects analyses and comparison based exclusively on the Western model. However, beside Europe-centrism, Chinese, Indian or Russian varieties of ethnocentrism exist as well. Thus, the goal of this cluster is to reconcile the differences between the historical paths specific to particular regions with their connections, transfers and overall dynamics. Today’s forms of globalization are not unprecedented. During previous centuries if not millennia, strong connections between different areas of the world had already developed. Circulation of ideas, people, institutions and values came in addition to climatic impact and overall market dynamics. Yet, forms of integration and internationalization did not always give rise to global dynamics. We seeks in the first place to stress the analogies and differences between globalizations in History. To this aim, and as for the other clusters of the IEG, we will rely upon existing collaborations and expertise already working at PSL and between its members and the international scholar community, but we also intend to open up as much as possible to other scholars, students and post-doc’s initiatives, mostly from the global “South”.
Instead of opposing “Europe” to “Asia” or “Africa” and “the Americas”, or comparing nation-based constituent parts, such as France, China, India or Britain, we seek to explain how local, regional, national and imperial polities have been identified, have interacted and have evolved in time. Knowledge, institutions, religion, environment, economic and social relations will be analyzed on these multiple scales. No entities like “Europe” or the “West” will be assumed to be relevant objects of investigation without proving their relevance in particular contexts.
From this perspective, Europe as a field must be carefully distinguished from eurocentrism as an approach. We suggest to study “France”, “Britain” or also “Europe” not as if they were the core of History, but in their limits, specificities and connections with other worlds, each contributing to the others’ identification and historical dynamics. A critical and global approach to areas is required. Global history as we intend it requires the highest level of reflexivity. At the same time, it is now necessary to go beyond deconstructivism and produce new historical morphologies — in Carlo Ginzburg’s terms — involving multiple scales of time and space.
No doubt our approach owes a great deal to l’histoire croisée; we will take the main contributions of this approach into account. However, unlike Werner and Zimmermann, who criticize comparativism, our position is more flexible. We do not oppose comparative, world-encompassing and entangled approaches to history but assume that each approach depends on the questions we ask.
In the following pages, we will provide some examples of our fields and expected forms of collaboration. This does not intend to provide an exhaustive list and deep analysis of what we intend to do, but is intended to better explain our approach, while also clarifying the positionality and feasibility of this project.
Polities in context: nation-states, empires and beyond
Comparative history and the sociology of state construction have generally taught us to think in terms of nation-states. Even if an author like Charles Tilly declares at the outset that we must avoid projecting recent constructions onto the past, he cannot help doing so himself.
Our project wishes to overcome this conundrum, first because nation-states are not a viable category to explain the evolution of Afro-Eurasian and global dynamics in the modern period and second because empirical analyses do not confirm the opposition between capital-based Europe and coercion-based Asia, and even less that between the centralized State in Europe and decentralized polities in Africa. Western capitalism made use of slavery in the colonies, forms of forced labor in the mainland (convicts, workhouse) and often brought development without granting scarcely any civil rights. Conversely, the Asian states in the modern period were hardly as despotic and had more capital than Tilly and others assert. We should not suppose that these countries were held together solely by a great deal of coercion and had no capital.
Instead of starting from the nation-state as the highest achievement of the West and the crucial form of polity in world history, we will discuss the different forms of polity in world history. Empires, nation states, city states, entrepôts etc. will be studied in their multiple historical configurations. Thus, in African entities in pre-colonial times, markets were widespread and territorial entities important. Despite commonly held views to the contrary, the state was indeed important in many African areas. In the early 19th century, the Sokoto Caliphate, the Zulu kingdom, the Asante and Buganda kingdoms, the Omani kingdom and many other entities were present in Africa. They had well established administrations and armies and contributed to the enhancement of trade and some industries. Capital was more important than usually assumed.
From a reconsideration of the historical notion and practice of the nation-state, follows that we may equally historicize that of Empire. This means we must grasp the characteristics of each Empire and carefully differentiate them according per period under study. When the notion of Empire is historically situated, it leads us to examine fluid, mobile territorial entities in which various ethnic, religious and social groups (from the family and the clan to public administration, peasants and soldiers) interact and form a hierarchy, in keeping with different modes of integration and/or assimilation.
In this context, our project intends to show that the Eurocentric notion of sovereignty is constructed in variegated ways — legal means, military, geography, cartography, explorations, trade — and always negotiated between multiple actors. It is necessary to acknowledge that we are living in a multi-polar world with continuous cross-fertilization of populations, ethnic groups and economies. The frontiers will not be viewed as limits, but on the contrary as areas of varying scope. The frontier refers to modes of imperial expansion that applied sometimes to one region, sometimes to another, depending on the period.
Colonialisms in question
Starting from this we will makes forms of colonialism an object of enquiry. Historians have given too much importance to European sources claiming state power in Europe as well as outside of it. No doubt, the rule of law, political and military claims and economic pressure were important tools in the hands of European elites. Nevertheless, putting them into practice was another matter, not only because “Europeans” were divided when not engaged in internal conflict, even within the same Empire and inside the same administration, but also because the objects of their claims — polities, local elites and people — were everything but passive actors. Institutional pluralism was widespread on the level of empires, where legal pluralism was an important instrument of economic and political action. We intend to push this line of reasoning beyond the usual European empires; in collaboration with the third (Asian) cluster of our project, we will be able to show, for example, that not only the Mughal, but also the Ottoman and Safavid Empires granted important local autonomies which were foreign to the European notion of monolithic sovereignty. It is starting from Asian (and African) Empires that we will be able to put European ones into perspective. In practice, Britain invented new forms of flexible sovereignty to manage its Empire. Imitation and adaptation of Mughal customs remained a characteristic feature of British imperial authority during both the East India Company Raj and Crown Raj. For example, the presumed legal order at the global level was far more complex and instable than globalizing approaches and world-system theory have presumed. Local conflicts framed global structures and vice versa. We will study both exclusionary (mostly European) and inclusive Empires (mostly in pre-modern and modern Asia). Our team includes specialists of the Chinese, Safavid, Mughal, and Ottoman Empires, but also of Russia, Spain, Portugal, and of course France and Britain. We are thus able to study different forms of inclusion/exclusion, as well as their mutual influence transgressing imperial boundaries.
This is where multiple forms of universalism intervene. We need to develop deep analyses not only of western forms of universalism — religious and political — but also of notions and practices of inclusiveness in Asian Empires. The question is not so much of provincializing Europe and showing the eurocentrism at work in both liberalism and Marxism, but, as shown in several publications by our team, on the one hand, to give account of the transformations of these ideologies in contact with non European realities, and, on the other hand, the long-standing forms of universalism in other parts of the world (Mughal India, Ming and Qing China and, to a certain extent, also in tsarist Russia) and their influence on Western Europe.  The final issue in terms of inclusion, acceptance and reliance always was contingent and requires to be empirically tested. To this aim, it is important to investigate the role of knowledge and that of markets in the making of local identities and global connections.
Colonial situations have been particularly fertile ground for the development of processes of racialization. Transnational research on racial policies faces a number of challenges. Under what conditions can we confront the Western and non-Western situations in which discrimination based on race is a political resource? How many universalisms, beginning with Christianity and Islam, have generated political systems based on racial segregation in the long term? To what extent has intercontinental mobility favored the production of racist responses and has it contributed to their transnational spreading? Is it possible for researchers to agree on a common language to address these issues, while the concept of race takes many meanings around the world?
These are some among the complex issues that a global approach to the emergence of policies based on race poses to social scientists.
Knowledge in expanding worlds
Conventional historiography in intellectual history has stressed the major role of Europe and in particular the relationship between European knowledge, technique, science and its world supremacy. Even if this attitude still persists among economic historians in particular, it has come under sustained attack by recent global intellectual historians, such as Moyn and Sartori. A transnational research program like Iberconceptos has demonstrated how much, over two hundred years, the Latin American societies have produced in terms of original intellectual proposals on issues which now concern European academia, such as the management of multicultural countries. At the same time, this new approach is mostly limited to the last three centuries and is marked by a neglect of non-european worlds.
On this topic as well, our team includes specialists in cultural history covering the centuries since the middle ages down to the present and many areas of both Europe and Asia. We all use primary sources in the relevant languages and add connections and circulation of knowledge. Yet, shifting the focus to transcultural issues does not simply mean tracing the influence of ideas from one culture on another. Rather, it challenges us to probe how concepts, theories and the practices they inform are reconfigured in global flows. To this end, it is not only essential to learn more about processes of translation, diffusion and appropriation but also to gain a deeper understanding of how meanings are generated and transformed within and between different languages, cultures, regions and milieus. Intellectual history so conceived is by nature an interdisciplinary pursuit. We therefore rely on specialists of different areas but also on sociologists and anthropologists in an effort to map the institutional infrastructures for the production, distribution and access to knowledge, and therefore, the role of knowledge itself in shaping local, national, and imperial hierarchies. Over centuries, the effort of polities have been to invent a form of sovereignty on the sea and the desert.
In this context, knowledge and its implementation played a central role. Maps and law constantly sought to invent jurisdictional corridors and justify discovery, conquest and militarization. In this process, cartography played a major role in shaping Empires, although in a similar and different way in the Spanish Andes, French Algeria,  British India, Brazil, and Russian Central Asia, as members of our community (PSL) have effectively proved. Still, this process was not only a European invention but it strongly incorporated local knowledge well developed before Europeans. From this perspective, intellectual history and history of science are simultaneously part of social and political history as well.
Labor at the crossroad of Empires
Conventional historiography has opposed free to unfree forms of labor. During recent years, many historians (notably at the IISG in Amsterdam, and in Berlin at Re-work) have stressed the coexistence of multiple forms of freedom and bondedness and the futility of maintaining any clear-cut dichotomy. Our coordinator, Alessandro Stanziani, has widely published on this topic. A large network of historians all around the world, besides NGOs in Africa and Asia, are already collaborating with us.
The main differences between these programs and ours are the following: our program unites a global perspective with the highlighting of local singularities reinforced by a distinguished tradition of expertise in African and Asian area studies. It is not confined to the dimension of social history, focusing in equal measure on economic history and development economics. We will add to our portfolio the analysis of bondage and trafficking, whilst intervening in unprecedented fashion for a research program within the domain of policy formation in close collaboration with the ILO (International Labour Organization) and NGOs.
Our aim is not to take sides in favor of one or the other “general” definition of free and forced labor, but rather to draw a boundary line between the two in specific historical and institutional contexts and explain why, in a given context, this line was conceived and put into practice in one way rather than another. By undertaking a radical re-examination of the historical forms of labor and how they were defined, we are not seeking to relativize and deconstruct categories in order to assert, for example, that “forced labor did not exist” or that it is an “intellectual invention”. Quite the contrary, by viewing these elements in their proper historical contexts, we hope to provide an original explanation of the dynamics of forms of labor. Instead of attempting to establish the moment when “free labor” and “civilization” emerged, or conversely, stigmatising the continuation of the “guild tradition” or even of latent forms of slavery, we want to grasp the dynamics at work in certain historical forms of labor starting from the historically situated tension between freedom and constraint.
The first underlying hypothesis of this project is that so-called “free” forms of labor and bondage were defined and practised in reference to each other. Forms of bondage and freedom were mutually defined, not only in each country and area, but also at a global scale.
Continuities between free and unfree labor are important not only in time but also in space. Surprisingly enough, there has been little dialogue between historians of slavery and historians of wage labor, and consequently, neither group has challenged the presupposition that these two worlds always remained separate or even opposed. The aim of this project is precisely to overcome this fracture by revealing the connections between these elements underpinned by chronologies that are in fact too common to be unconnected or to have come about merely by chance. We may benefit for this from specialists of wage labor in the western countries over several centuries, of slavery in the Atlantic, Africa, China, India, the Indian Ocean, the Ottoman Empire and Russia over several centuries, from antiquity to the present.
Before and Beyond the Great Divergence
The Great Divergence debate has brought non European worlds into economic history; however this debate mostly focuses on the rate of growth — and forgets inequalities — while preserving a Weberian approach: different parts of the world are compared starting from an ideal “West” (mostly Britain). Kenneth Pomeranz has explained Chinese momentum using the same criteria as applied to Europe: rapid demographic development, protection of private property and dynamic trade and proto-industrialization. This neglects the contributions made by historians of the British industrial over the last twenty years, revealing a slow path of labor-intensive growth, with pluriactivity for most working people until the mid-19th century. In other words, new economic historians working on non European areas provide new insights on these areas while still treating western economies as ideal types.
We propose to regard a longer span of time and to include in our analysis a braudelian longue durée in market dynamics, starting with the 11th century. But, unlike Braudel, we will develop studies of non European worlds as well. We will not escape from quantitative economic analysis but we will look at data as a source, that is, under the historian’s and not only the econometrician’s scrutiny. We will also pay special attention to topics such as food history, material life, social history of actors usually excluded from global history such as the peasantries.
State of the art
The third cluster answers the challenge of de-centering the study of phenomena of globalization by explicitly situating itself in the field of Asian studies, and favoring a long-term perspective on globality as perceived from Asia. The initial question is in fact whether such an approach would indeed amount to a shift of focus, or whether it would reveal an actual multipolarity whose internal connectivies need to be better understood, both analytically and diachronically. Our choice proceeds from an extensive definition of Asia — from the geographical point of view — making it possible to study its relation with its own “peripheries”: Europe in the first place, but also the Pacific rim and Africa; or, in terms of the interactions between civilizations: the Siberian, Ottoman, Persian, Arabo-Muslim, Mediterranean, Subsaharan, Oceanian and American spheres. The intensity of exchange and movement within Asia, but also on a transcontinental level; the flourishing of numerous empires with written cultures; the current dynamism of Asia, including in the domain of the social sciences and humanities, both in their practical and in their conceptual aspects; and of course the growing importance of transnational realities in international exchange, including academically — all these factors confirm the need to conceive globality with a multi-sited approach, starting from its premodern phases, symmetrically taking Europe and Asia as spheres of reference, sources of forms of knowledge and observation points for phenomena of globalization.
Such phenomena may be relatively well-documented for the contemporary period, but are much less so the father one goes back in time, which tends to color scholarly understanding of ostensible convergences in the present. Thus, besides an immediate globalization that is well-studied and explained by some with reference to “Asian values”, one cannot but observe that Asian antiquity has so far, and not unparadoxically, remained beyond the scope of Global studies. Asian historiographies gravitate around relatively circumscribed centers of interest: we may mention, for the Japanese case, the post-Mongol perspective of modern history; the imperial and national orientations of the representations of international commerce in China (even for the pre-Song period), but also in India (despite the indisputable contribution of Indian researchers to post-colonial and subaltern studies) or also in post-Soviet Russia, in an effort to lay claim to the theme of international interactions. Research undertaken in western countries attempts, often with difficulty, to overcome linguistic and disciplinary compartmentalization (bringing to bear archaeology, epigraphy and linguistics side-by-side with history and social anthropology) as well as levels of analysis (cultural areas, nation building) in order to renew connected and regional histories. Nevertheless, in most cases they concern the modern and contemporary periods, notably due to issues of methodology, of the intelligibility of more accessible western sources, or the plain absence of written sources for more remote periods.
However, it may not be taken for granted that the arrival of westerners in Asia constituted a first globalization. It is too often ignored that Asia has very early on, from the first centuries ce, cultivated global thinking, entirely independent from the ancient Greek geographical school, with a double political and economic dimension: Indian thinkers of the 3rd century conceive of a balance of great powers, where Rome just as much as China participate in an international distribution of wealth along with Iran, India or the nomads of the steppes. This conception of international relations is then attested for over a millennium. Similarly, the merchants of Samarcand in the 6th century are able to hold an informed discussion about the locations of the most important international markets from Byzantium, through Iran, to China.
From a thematic point of view, this cluster will be able to entertain natural interactions with the two other ones: rethinking violence and religion, as well as the impact of transnational communities, in the case of cluster 1; imperial studies and intersecting historiographies, in that of cluster 2. From a heuristic point of view, we seek not only to redress the balance of representations of long-term globality, but also to reorient or even to shift certain paradigms. This holds in particular for the study of economic systems, that of the “factory of religions” and those of imperial modalities.
We build on the prior steps taken by the research program “Dynasia” in terms of management of joint scholarly production and research, while moving forward the study of societies of knowledge as well as of heritage and identities with an approach that is henceforward global. We will be particularly attentive to Asian initiatives in Global studies. It may be noted, in this connection, that Japan has openly engaged in global history projects (Tokyo University) while Singapore is developing important research on large-scale maritime trade (notably through underwater archaeology) which make it one of the primary centers in the world not only for Southeast Asian studies but for Asian studies at large.
And so it is that by placing Asia at the heart of its research and cooperation projects, by taking a long-term perspective, based on various conceptions of historicity (régimes d’historicité), bringing to bear the leading disciplines of social sciences and humanities on the specific issues of “interactions”, and, finally, by promoting intercultural communication and transfers of knowledge between cultural areas, benefitting for this from the unique network of centers of the École française d’Extrême-Orient established in Asia, that this cluster will contribute to the study of global circulations, disseminations and interactions.
Asia in question, questioning Asia
Rethinking Global studies from Asia and the globalization of Asia requires reflecting at the outset on the delimitation of our area. Indeed, Asia presents a perimeter of variable geometry which needs to be understood from both the geographical and the historical perspective, and then distinguished from the previous orientalist representations by bringing to bear, in a critical manner, the contribution of post-colonial studies. Within this continent, whole regions have been encapsulated over long periods in different empires (Chinese, Mongol, Ottoman, Khmer, British or Russian). But exchange never broke down with the outside world. These local dynamics have impacted ancient circulation and hence should inspire us to conceive of the global in a manner that is also premodern. From the historical point of view, we must first study the first millennium in its own right, before moving forward to subsequent centuries to study its local evolutions and direct descendants. Such an innovative approach should lead to reviewing the chronologies and periodizations of global history that have been imposed by the western historiographies of the “Renaissance” and the “great discoveries overseas”. From the methodological point of view, we must then pursue the study of written traditions and of ancient vernacular sources, just as much as the evolution of Asian historiographies, in order to relaunch the debate on notions of centers and peripheries, to overcome strictly geopolitical or economic analyses of Asian globalization, and to determine in what ways they may contribute, in the case of empires that were far from static, to a better knowledge of Asia’s peripheries. Entities such as the aforementioned great Asian empires, trading posts and kingdoms in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula, among others, thus will allow approaching exchange dynamics from new angles.
By distinguishing two different levels of analysis or long-term history, on the one hand that of Asia-Europe interactions and on the other that of Asian knowledge of the world, we will in the end need to rethink the broad issues of a shift toward Asia, or even, in the case of China, a renewed appearance on center stage. Similarly in need of rethinking are certain paradigms underlying studies of antiquity (kingship, empire, sacralities, urban/rural societies, elites and bureaucracies…), the contemporary world (civil societies, social protest, modes of production, soft power…) and more generally the social sciences and humanities.
Intra-Asian networks and transcontinental routes
From trade in camphor of Sumatran provenance to the discovery of roman gold coins of the reign of Antoninus Pius in the heart of the Mekong delta; from Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim pilgrims’ networks leading from the Himalayan range to far away in the Mongolian steppes or in Japan; from the spread of Chinese ceramics in Asian and Arabian emporia, to the settlement of Indian pundits in Southeast Asia, known to the West over centuries as the “Golden Chersonese” (Ptolemy), networks of knowledge and trade centered in Asia have undeniably played a global role since antiquity. And yet very few tangible elements of these networks are known with any degree of precision, so that a massive effort is required in order to cast light on this field. The intra-Asian networks organized around leading centers of production and places of exchange, as well as transcontinental circulations (both by land and by sea) can be studied in their forms of exchange and transfer of technology (metallurgical production such as the so-called Dông Son drums, right through to Hindu/Buddhist statuary; nautical construction that made it possible to cross the Indian ocean between the Indonesian archipelago and Madagascar as well as the Asian seas linking the extensive archipelagoes and the continental coasts of East Asia; the spread of Arab navigational charts; the central position of trade in ceramics from China, but also from Vietnam, Japan, Thailand…). More generally, it is these kinds of internal circulation, but also transcontinental trade networks as hinted at above, which explain the “Indianization” of Southeast Asia, the dissemination of Buddhism over a vast area, from India to Japan, the Sinicization of East Asia and other examples of the spread of intellectual culture. Several “Asian Mediterraneans” (the Indian ocean, Arabian and Japanese seas, South Pacific) have served as important routes for commercial and religious exchange between cultural areas, notably between Asia and Africa. These large historical dynamics have naturally entailed phenomena of human mobility and colonization that need to be analyzed, mapped and restudied in the light of current investigations of modern colonialism (such as those envisaged by Cluster 2).
The tangible evidence of these diverse networks is of varied nature: archaeological reports, manuscripts as well as inscribed or printed historical documents, cult artefacts and works of art, with which must naturally be combined the contribution of linguistics, capable of revealing, notably from the point of view of language creolization, the past existence of contact and exchange over many centuries. The exchanges that we observe in the world today may, in quite a number of cases, stand in the continuity of these early days of globalization. It is true that some scholars have used this kind of argument, but demonstrating it required undertaking research on the ground and studying local sources first-hand.
Traditions of writing and religious systems
One of the main reasons why it is interesting to place Asia at the center of the debate is the continent’s indisputable richness in literate civilizations, and the intellectual systems that they have produced in different periods. Widely disseminated beyond their place or origin, some of them have developed conceptions that are essentially — though not exclusively — religious and universalist. Indeed they are major sources for Global studies in that they reflect known historical circulations and motifs of propagation at the scale of the world as it was then known. It is especially the expansion of Buddhism to China and Japan by the land route, or by sea to Ceylon, the Indonesian archipelago and the Southeast Asian mainland, that comes to mind in this connection, even without considering the fact that this expansion has been resumed from the 18th century onwards into territories even more distant from its Indian homeland, and following processes more contemporaneous with religious globalization. The same is true for the spread of Sanskrit culture by sea, and later that of Islam by comparable routes, as well as by the founding of port cities or agrarian states. Other rationales may be invoked to explain the expansion and dissemination of diasporas, and subsequently transnational communities, of “Chinese religions”, whether they be strongly structured systems such as Confucianism and Taoism, or practices anchored in the soil and temple networks such as lineage cults and sectarian phenomena more commonly called “Redemptive societies” today. We may mention, finally, the reverse dynamics of the evangelization of Asia that started in the 5th century along the silk roads. Although Christianity only really took root from the “great discoveries” of the 16th century onwards, as in the Americas, through the modern colonial empires, it was able to invoke in Asia an original Christianization that is still a point of reference for present-day evangelicals.
So in this domain too, we must study for the premodern era the entire gamut of doctrines of Salvation that all revolve around a universalist axis and that are all present throughout Asia, whereas they are only partially so at its western peripheries. Relying as we can on the rare sum of expertise present within PSL, we are able to envisage an interpretation that is both broad and intimate of the religious field, through the historical study of belief systems, of sacred texts and languages, of monuments, of traditions and rituals, of heresies and syncretisms. Among our strengths, and perhaps uniquely so, is furthermore the fact that we cover a range of fields that are ordinarily separated: ancient religions of the Mediterranean basin, the monotheistic religions and their global extensions, the religions of South, East and Southeast Asia. We may recall once again — and this is true for all of the research initiatives proposed under this cluster — that we do not intend to study each and every element of this diversity, but rather to understand the interactions between these traditions as well as the circulations from and to Asia.
Naturally, all these aspects which stood at the basis of the ancient civilizations to this very day remain points of reference for the societies in question and for the processes of religious reconfiguration. Our comparative approach to religions of Asia and in Asia can of course be extended to phenomena of religious modernity, which is characterized particularly by a globalization, a deterritorialization of religions, and by processes of secularization concerning which research in Asia significantly contributes to the global study of religion. In the same way, we need to consider theological, sociological, and missionary innovations that concern all these great Asian traditions, as well as empirical and theoretical studies that contribute to pluralizing the episteme of religious studies and religious knowledge. These observations can, in final analysis, be deepened chronologically and broadened to worldly ideologies, to scientific knowledge systems and to discourses of ethical nature.
Asian worlds and Area studies: at the heart of a mode of scholarly cooperation
Another noteworthy advantage of a multi-sited conception of global studies from an Asian perspective is that it allows bringing into practice a critical reflection of the social sciences and humanities disciplines on themselves, as they will no longer rely exclusively on results of research in the western world. We may adopt, and expand, the views of Anthony Reid who challenges us to close the circle of Asian studies by relocating research in situ, in suitable research centers, but also by profiting from theoretical and practical research of local scholars by a systematic dissemination of their work and their insertion in broadened scholarly communities. It is here that knowledge of languages and the realities of the field, combined with intensive scholarly exchange and coproduction, yields an inestimable surplus value. On the one hand, specialists of Area studies enter into direct discussion with their colleagues in the respective area of study; on the other hand, they are able to become indispensable intermediaries in the service of specialists in the disciplines when they come to the field to cooperate with “local” specialists, but without disposing of the means of profound decipherment.
Since many decades, we are witnessing a redressing of the balance between written production in diverse languages of scholarship. Although European languages, English foremost among them, remain the major languages of scholarly communication, they are no longer the only ones: Asian languages have taken over a part of their place, since they allow reaching much larger linguistic communities. Against this background, we aim to pool resources that will allow us to become a center of expertise and training directly tapping into fundamental research published in all languages of the world, and to carry out research in collaboration with international colleagues. It is also here that lies one of the challenges of Global studies, inciting us to approach in an iterative manner the problem of translation of major work of scholarship as well as the concepts deployed for making them accessible to as large a readership as possible, and hence academically operative. In the end, there is no paradox at all in wanting to study globalization by engaging ever more profoundly with the realities of the field in order better to bring out local conceptions of this phenomenon. Globalization is not actually an object, but a historical fact, a context inviting us to reflect on methods (epistemology and interculturality of globalization) and to establish a new balance between practices of research and teaching.
Concretely, the 17 centers of the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient established in Asia are a considerable advantage for realizing such a project. These centers dedicated to the study of Asian societies and cultures may indeed be conceived as platforms allowing the facilitation and hosting of delocalized research, not necessarily concerning the specific country in question but more generally global studies on other Area studies seen from an Asian perspective.
 Sanjay Subrahamanyam, Aux origines de l’histoire globale (Leçon inaugurale au Collège de France), Paris, Fayard, 2014; Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Historicizing the Global, or Labouring for Invention?”, History Workshop Journal 64.1 (2007), pp. 329–334.
 Jacques Revel, Jeux d’échelles : La micro-analyse de l’expérience, Paris, Gallimard-Seuil, 1996.
 Zigmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2000.
 Johanna Siméant (ed.), Guide de l’enquête globale en sciences sociales, Paris, Editions du CNRS, 2015.
 Michael Burawoy et al. (eds), Global Ethnography. Forces, Connections, and Imaginations in a Postmodern World, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2000.
 Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, translated by Thomas Burger, the MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1991
 Donatella Della Porta, Sidney Tarrow (eds), Transnational Protest and Global Activism, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
 Charles Tilly, The Politics of Collective Violence, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003.
 Frederick Cooper & Ann Laura Stoler (eds), Tensions of Empire. Colonial Cultures in A Bourgeois World, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1997.
 Ted Gurr, Why Men Rebel, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1970.
 Edward P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, London, Gollancz, 1963.
 Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2000; Bin Wong, China Transformed, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1997.
 Michael Werner, Bénedicte Zimmermann (eds.), De la comparaison à l’histoire croisée, Paris, Seuil, 2004.
 Charles Tilly, Coercion, Capital and European States. AD 990-1991, Cambridge-Oxford, Blackwell, 1990.
 Nicola Di Cosmo, Ancient China and Its Enemies. The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
 Gareth Austin, “Reciprocal Comparison and African History: Tackling Conceptual Eurocentrism in the Study of Africa’s Economic Past”, African Studies Review, 50.3 (2007), pp. 1–28.
 Paul Lovejoy, The Abolition of Slavery in Africa, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
 Jeremy Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2009.
 Mikhail Khodarkovsky, Russia’s Steppe Frontier. The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800, Bloomington-Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 2002; Jane Burbank & Frederick Cooper, Empires in World History, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2010.
 Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2005.
 Jean-Frédéric Schaub, “L’histoire coloniale est-elle indispensable ?”, Annales HSC 63.3 (2008), pp. 625–646.
. António Manuel Hespanha, “A constituição do Império português. Revisão de alguns enviesamentos correntes”, in João Fragoso, Maria Fernanda Bicalho, Maria de Fátima Gouvêa eds O Antigo Regime nos Trópicos. A dinâmica imperial portuguesa (séculos XVI-XVIII), Rio de Janeiro, Civilização Brasileira, 2001, pp. 163–188.
 Stephen Dale, The Muslim Empires of the Ottoman, Safavids and Mughals, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
 Sudipta Sen, Distant Sovereignty, New York and London, Routledge, 2002; Christopher Bayly, Imperial Meridian, London, Pearson education, 1989.
 Jack Green (ed.), Exclusionary Empire. English Liberty Overseas, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010; Peter Fibirger Bang & Dariusz Kolodziejczyk, Universal Empire, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
 Corinne Lefèvre & Ines Zupanov (eds), Cosmopolitismes en Asie du Sud, Paris, CNRS éditions, 2015; Muzzafar Alam, The Political Language of Islam, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 2004.
 Lefèvre & Zupanov, Cosmopolitismes; Juliette Cadiot, Le laboratoire impérial, Russie – URSS 1860-1940, Paris, CNRS éditions, 2007.
 Ania Loomba, “Race and the Possibilities of Comparative Critique”, New Literary History 40 (2009), pp. 501–522.
 Magali Bessone, Sans distinction de race ? Une analyse critique du concept de race et de ses effets pratique, Paris, Vrin, 2013; Jean-Frédéric Schaub, Pour une histoire politique de la race, Paris, Seuil, 2015.
 Samuel Moyn & Andrew Sartori (eds), Global Intellectual Histor, New York, Columbia University Press, 2013.
 Javier Fernández Sebastián & Gonzalo Capellán de Miguel (eds), Conceptos políticos, tiempo e historia, Madrid, McGraw-Hill Interamericana de España, 2013.
 Among others: Antonella Romano, Rome et la science moderne entre Renaissance et Lumières, Rome, École française de Rome, 200; Silvia Sebastiani, The Scottish Enlightenment. Race, Gender and the Limits of Progress, New York, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013; Caterina Guenzi, Le discours du destin. La pratique de l’astrologie à Bénarès, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2013; Fréderic Obringer, L’aconit et l’orpiment. Drogues et poisons en Chine ancienne et médiévale, Paris, Fayard, 1997. See also the following footnotes.
 William Clark, Jan Golinski & Simon Schaffer (eds), The Sciences in Enlightened Europe, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1999.
 Laurent Berger, Le royaume et la firme. Une anthropologie de la mondialisation à Madagascar, Paris, CNRS éditions, 2015.
 Lauren Benton, A Search for Sovereignty, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
 Alejandra Vega, Los Andes y el territorio de Chile en el siglo XVI. Descripción, reconocimiento e invención, Santiago de Chile, Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana, 2015.
 Hélène Blais, Mirages de la carte, l’invention de l’Algérie coloniale, XIXe – XXe siècle, Paris, Fayard, 2014.
 Matthew Henry Edney, Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765–1843, Chicago & London, University of Chicago Press, 1997; Kapil Raj, Relocating Modern Science, London, Palgrave Mc Millan, 2010.
 Júnia Ferreira Furtado, O mapa que inventou o Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Versal, 2013.
 Steven Seegel, Mapping Europe’s Borderland. Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 2012.
 Blais, Mirages; Raj, Relocating.
 Dominique Pestre, “Pour une histoire sociale et culturelle des sciences, nouvelles définitions, nouveaux objets nouvelles pratiques”, Annales HSS 50.3 (1995), pp. 487–522.
 Alessandro Stanziani, Bondage. Labor and Rights in Eurasia, New York and Oxford, Berghahn, 2014.
 On this, see www.aiow.hypothèses.org and http://crh.ehess.fr/index.php?4257.
 Stephen Broadberry & Bishnupriya Gupta, “The Early Modern Great Divergence: Wages, Prices and Economic Development in Europe and Asia, 1500-1800”, The Economic History Review 59.1 (2006), pp. 2–31; Patrick O’Brien, “Ten Years of Debates on the Origin of the Great Divergence”, http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1008.
 Robert Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009; Prisanan Parthasarathai, Why Europe Grew rich and Asia did not. Global Economic Divergence, 1600-1850, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
 François Hartog, Régimes d’historicité. Présentisme et expériences du temps, Paris, Seuil, 2002.
 Angus Maddison, Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007; Samuel Adrian Adshead, T’ang China: The Rise of the East in World History, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004 ; Etienne de la Vaissière, Sogdian Traders, Leiden, Brill, 2005.
 See for instance: Ken’Ichi Goto, Tensions of Empire: Japan and Southeast Asia in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, Athens, Ohio University Press, 2003.
 Louis Malleret, L’archéologie du delta du Mékong, Paris, EFEO, vol. I to IV, 1958-62; Sheldon Pollock, The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2006.
 Yves Lambert, La naissance des religions, Paris, Armand Colin, 2007.
 Jason Neelis, Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks: Mobility and Exchange Within and Beyond the Northwestern Borderlands of South Asia, Leiden, Brill, 2011.
 Prasenjit Duara, Sovereignty and Authenticity. Manchukuoa and the East Asian Modern, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.
 Richard King, Orientalism and Religion: Postcolonial Theory, India and “the mystic east”, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1999; Tomoko Masuzawa, The Invention of World Religions or how European Universalism was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 2005; Volkhard Krech & Marion Steinicke (eds), Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe. Encounters, Notions, and Comparative Perspectives, Leiden, Brill, 2012.
 Anthony Reid (ed.), Southeast Asian Studies: Pacific Perspectives, Tempe, Program for Southeast Asian Studies, Arizona State University, 2003.
 Srilata Ravi, Mario Rutten & Goh Beng-Lan (eds.), Asia in Europe, Europe in Asia, Singapore, ISEAS, 2004; Susan Bayly, Asian Voices in Post-colonial Asia, Vietnam India and Beyond, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007.