Gareth Meredith Austin - Biography#


Gareth Austin is a specialist in the economic history of (in cumulative geographical order) Asante, Ghana, West Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, and a contributor to comparative and global economic historiography. He is currently professor and chair in the Department of International History at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. After teaching maths at a harambee school in Kenya, he did his BA at Cambridge and PhD at Birmingham (supervised by A. G. Hopkins). His past employers included the University of Ghana and the London School of Economics (Department of Economic History).

A former editor of the Journal of African History, 2001-2005, since 2005 he has organised an annual African Economic History Workshop since 2005, to provide feedback and stimulus for scholars in this re-emerging field. He has also contributed to the development of ‘global’ history as a field: as the proposer and convenor of the first master’s programme in Global History in Britain (and Europe?), which began at LSE in 2000 and as one of the proposers (with P. O’Brien and B. Tomlinson) of the new Journal of Global History. He has served as president of the Leipzig-based European Network in Universal and Global History (ENIUGH), from 2008 to 2012, and was the lead organiser of the third (and largest) European Congress on World and Global History, held by ENIUGH at LSE in 2011. Publications include Labour, Land and Capital in Ghana: From Slavery to Free Labour in Asante, 1807-1956 (University of Rochester Press, 2005) and ‘Resources, techniques, and strategies south of the Sahara: revising the factor endowments perspective on African economic development, 1500-2000’, Economic History Review (August 2008). He is completing the writing of Markets, Slaves and States in West Africa for Cambridge University Press, and (with Kaoru Sugihara) the editing of Labour-Intensive Industrialization in Global History for Routledge.
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