December 31, 2007 Economic Historian Herman Van der Wee To Discuss Globalization Through the Centuries, Jan. 17

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Economic globalization is a new word for an old process, according to economic historian Herman Van der Wee, holder of the Chair of the Countries and Cultures of the North in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. Van der Wee will explain this concept in a lecture titled “Economic Globalization in the Mirror of History” at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Kluge Center, the event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. In his lecture, Van der Wee will present a historical perspective, starting with Europe’s first dynamic move toward economic globalization from the 11th to the 14th centuries, followed – during the Late Middle Ages – by a long period of stagnation and de-globalization. According to Van der Wee, Europe moved toward economic globalization from the middle of the 15th century onward, followed once again by a period of de-globalization between 1650 and 1750. One of the world’s foremost economic historians, Van der Wee is professor emeritus of economic history at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. At the Library of Congress, Van der Wee is continuing his research on Belgian economic history, especially during the Ancien Régime, the period approximately from 1100 to 1820. Van der Wee received a doctorate in law from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven with further degrees in history and political and social sciences. He has pursued further study in Paris at the Sorbonne and the Ecole Partique des Hautes Etudes and at the London School of Economics, and he has worked as a visiting professor and research fellow at many universities around the world. A widely published author, Van der Wee is a member of numerous national and international organizations, including the Royal Academy of Science, Arts and Fine Arts of Belgium, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is past president of the International Economic History Association and founder of the Workshop on Quantitative Economic History at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit


PR 07-255
ISSN 0731-3527