Trade and Empire
Productivity, Economic Exchange, and Differences in Eurasia
June 22—30, 2020
Conference organized by Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities at University of Tyumen, Tyumen, Russia with participation of the German Historical Institute in Moscow, Friedrich Naumann foundation and Centre for Historical Research HSE Campus in St. Petersburg
Introductory Remarks and Agenda by Sergey Glebov, Ilya Gerasimov:
Economy, Economics, and Empire: Diversity and Universality

Since the rise of liberal economic theory, trade was widely viewed as a universalizing experience. Not only did classical liberals consider commerce a tool of civilization but they also widely assumed that economic exchanges would serve as great equalizers and would benefit every side involved in economic exchange.

At the same time, various imperial formations which emerged in Eurasia thrived on the production and management of ethnic, cultural, social, and confessional differences. The empires of Eurasia were worlds of particular social and economic niches, often occupied by diasporas or other particular groups.

In the modern period, the underlying tension between the universalizing thrust of economic exchange and the particularizing logic of empires overlapped with new ideas about productivity, efficiency, and modernity, introducing into the debate about economic exchanges notions of civilizational competence or racial suitability. Scientific theories of productivity, national economic spheres, and protective tariffs did not displace the tension between the universality of commerce and particularity of difference but recast it in new ways.

Organizers of the conference invite scholars whose work focuses on different aspects of trade, commerce, productivity, and empire in Eurasia.

With questions about the conference thematic focus, please, write to Sergey Glebov at

With questions about the logistics, please, write to Alexander Vileykis at