‘Uses of the Past’ project launched

Issued: Mon, 03 Oct 2016 17:16:00 BST

A new project launched this month will investigate how policymakers and market actors use the past as a foundation for their decisions. The Uses of the Past in International Economic Relations project (UPIER) will look into how key decision-makers create and choose between different interpretations of the past to fit their preconceptions, and how they are conditioned by the experiences of their predecessors.

The three-year project has received €1.2m in funding from a joint research programme run by the Humanities in the European Research Area network (HERA) and the European Commission. UPIER is one of just 18 innovative projects to be funded out of more than 600 submissions.

Multi-institution research

UPIER is led by the University of Glasgow’s Catherine Schenk, Professor of International Economic History. She will be working with colleagues at Université de Genève, Uppsala University and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Each institution will also recruit a two-year Post-Doc, and UofG will host a PhD student.

Professor Schenk explained: 'Through careful archival research and case studies, we will trace the intergenerational transfer of interpretations of the past, and how the past is used in institutions across Europe. The project will break new ground for our understanding of how the past is used in the context of international economic relations, particularly at times of crisis.

'We also hope to refresh the research agenda in economic history in the European Research Area to engage with the uses of the past.'

More information


Acknowledgements: This project has received funding from the H2020-EU.3.6 – SOCIETAL CHALLENGES – Europe in a Changing World – Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies under grant agreement no. 649307. The project UPIER is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme (www.heranet.info) which is co-funded by AHRC, AKA, PT-DLR, CAS, CNR, DASTI, ETAG, FCT, FNR, F.R.S.-FNRS, FWF, FWO, HAZU, IRC, LMT, MIZS, MINECO, NCN, NOW, RANNÍS, RCN, SNF, VIAA, VR and The European Community, SOCIETAL CHALLENGES – Europe in a Changing World – Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies under grant agreement no. 649307

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