Credit. Trust, solidarity, citizenship (14th – 19th century)

The Institute of Studies on Mediterranean Societies (ISSM – Naples, Italy), a RAMSES partner, announces a competition for 12 scholarships for young researchers (graduate, PhD and postdoctoral research students) in order to attend the fourth seminar of doctoral studies on the topic of  “Credit. Trust, Solidarity, Citizenship (14th – 19th century)”.

There is a link between economy and citizenship that defines forms and lexicons of civic membership. The latter is largely encoded through credit practices, based on credibility and trust relationships, within a civilitas that in the mid-centuries of the Middle Ages and in the early Modern Age determined – starting from an identity closely connected to Christian faith – the characteristics of alterity and the resulting degrees of inclusion or social exclusion. When social exclusion becomes apparent because the economic system drives some to the poverty line, new solidarity mechanisms are put in place to try to bring “laborious poverty” into the productive system. But these same mechanisms of solidarity can turn into complex economic systems as far as they can offer more evolved credit practices.

The objective of the seminar will be to understand the importance of intense credit activities at all levels of society, both in urban and rural areas over the long term, from consumer microcredit to the specific problem of the foundation of the Monti di Pietà in the various regional typologies, and to the forms of solidarity credit that, over the centuries, gave rise to more modern forms of banks. We will therefore seek to understand the role they had:

  • The collection and delivery of credit by some large welfare institutions and their role in financing the system of “public charity”;
  • The relationship between these institutions and the trust placed in them, holding the assets of the poor by associating charitable purposes and credit services;
  • The impact they have on the overall local economic cycle, both by guaranteeing the protection of private wealth and as a form of public debt financing;
  • The functional transformations of the entities responsible for providing consumer credit and the presence of informal circuits, the nature and cost of operations, and the type of transactions;
  • The role of fiduciary currency and its transformation into legal currency.

Applicants should send a signed PDF dossier by e-mail to sepm[a]
Dates of the seminar : October, 2-6 2017, Naples.
Deadline for applications: September 1, 2017.


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