“Understanding state capacity” conference program now avaliable!

There was an incredible response to the call for papers for the state capacity conference that we will have at the University of Manchester.

Updated (23/11/2019). Here is the latest program, after a few last-minute changes.


Understanding State Capacity Conference – University of Manchester, 28 and 29 Nov., 2019

Organized by Nuno Palma and Xiaobing Wang

THURSDAY – 28 November

Venue: Mansfield Cooper G.19 

8.50. Welcome & opening remarks

9.00 – 10.00 Debin Ma keynote – The Paradox of Power: Chinese State Capacity in long-term perspective

10.00 – 11.20 Session 1 (4 presentations – 20 mins each)

11.20 – 11.40 Coffee Break

11.40 – 13.00 Session 2 (4 presentations – 20 mins each)

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.00 Peer Vries keynote – The capacity and will to develop: State and economy in Japan, 1868-1937

15.00 – 15.40 Session 3 (2 presentations – 20 mins each)

15.40 – 16.00 Coffee Break

16.00- 17.00 POLICY SESSION – Vitor Gaspar, Tim Besley

17.00 – 18.00 Sevket Pamuk keynote – Annual Revenues of the States: Europe and the Rest since 1500

19.00 DINNER. Restaurant: Mr Cooper’s House and Garden

FRIDAY – 29 November

Venue: Mansfield Cooper G.19

9.00-.100 Tim Besley keynote – Norms, Institutions and State Capacity

10.00 – 11.20 Session 4 (4 presentations – 20 mins each)

11.20 – 11.40 Coffee Break

11.40 – 13.00 Session 5 (4 presentations – 20 mins each)

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.00 Patrick O’Brien keynote – The Wars with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France and the Consolidation of the Industrial Revolution

15.00– 16.40 Session 6 (5 presentations – 20 mins each)

16.40 – 17.00 Coffee Break

17.00 – 18.00 Noel Johnson keynote – State Capacity and the Rise Religious Freedom

18.00 End of conference

Detailed information about the sessions

THURSDAY – 28 November

10.00 – 11.20 Session 1 (4 people – 20 mins each) – Africa & Caribbean

Yannick Dupraz (Warwick), “Fiscal capacity and dualism in colonial states: The French Empire 1830-1962″ (Co-authors: Denis Cogneau and Sandrine Mespe-Somps)

Marvin Suesse (Dublin), “Taxation, Fiscal Capacity and Economic Development in Africa, c1890 – c2015: Lessons from a new dataset” (co-authors:  Thilo Albers. Morten Jerven)

Leigh Gardner (LSE), “African institutions under colonial rule” (co-author: Jutta Bolt)

Aaron Graham (UCL), “The rise and fall of colonial state capacity in Jamaica, 1655 to 1865, and its legacies”

 11.40 – 13.00 Session 2 (4 people – 20 mins each) – Europe & China

Yannay Spitzer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Entrepreneurship and Communal Tax Liability: The Political Economy of the Early Modern Jewish-Polish Symbiosis”

Guido Alfani (Bocconi), “The distributive consequences of the rise of the fiscal state in Europe (ca. 1500-1800)”

Leonor F. Costa (Lisbon), “Portugal’s early modern state capacity: a comparative approach” (co-authors: António C. Henriques and Nuno Palma)

Tuan-Hwee Sng (National University of Singapore), “Did the Communists Contribute to China’s Rural Growth?” (co-authors: Yi Lu, Mengna Luan)

15.00 – 15.40 Session 3 (2 presentations – 20 mins each) – England

Tony Moore (Reading), “state (over)capacity in medieval England”.

Nuno Pama (Manchester). Not an ordinary bank but a great engine of state: the bank of England and the British economy, 1694-1821 (co-author: Patrick K. O’Brien)

16.00- 17.00 POLICY SESSION – What are the challenges for poor and rich countries to raising taxes?

Vítor Gaspar (Director of Financial Affairs, IMF), and Tim Belsey (LSE)

Note (23/11/2019): Paul Johnson (Director IFS) was scheduled to participate in the policy session but will not be able to come. Paul recently wrote to us, explaining that the IFS will lauch their manifesto analysis Thursday, the first day of the conference. He wrote that this is the most important thing they’ll do all year and this was the only possible day for them.

FRIDAY – 29 November

10.00 – 11.20 Session 4 (4 presentations – 20 mins each) – Legacy of historical institutions

Leandro de Magalhães (Bristol), “War and the Rise of Parliaments” (co-author: Francesco Giovannoni)

António Henriques (Universidade do Porto), “Comparative European Institutions and the Little Divergence, 1385-1800” (co-author: Nuno Palma)

Daniel Oto (Universidad Pablo de Olavide), “Delegation of Governmental Authority in Historical Perspective: Lordships, State Capacity and Development”

David le Bris (Toulouse), “Constraints on the Executive: a Reappraisal of the French and English Old Regimes through Parliament Activities”

11.40 – 13.00 Session 5 (4 presentations – 20 mins each) – War, Trade, and Status

Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato (University of Bologna), “War, Trade, and the Origins of Representative Institutions” (co-authors: Gary W. Cox and Mark Dincecco)

Mattia Fochesato (Bocconi), “Exogenous shocks, political change and fiscal capacity: the case of Late Medieval Siena”

Yu Sasaki, “Ethnic Autonomy” (Waseda University, Japan)

Mark Koyama (GMU), “The Political Economy of Status Competition: Evidence from Pre-Modern Europe” (with Desiree Desierto)

15.00 – 16.40 Session 6 (5 presentations – 20 mins each) – Money and Finance

Kivanç Karaman (Boğaziçi University), “State and Money in Early Modern Europe” (co-authors: Sevket Pamuk, Secil Yildirim-Karaman)

Nuno Palma (University of Manchester), “Monetary capacity”, co-authors: Adam Brzezinski, Roberto Bonfatti, K. Kivanç Karaman

Carolyn Sissoko (University of the West of England), “The Monetary Foundations of Britain’s Early 19th Century Ascendancy.”

Queralt, Didac (Yale) “State Building in the Era of International Finance”

Qian Lu (Central University of Finance and Economics), “From Partisan Banking to Open Access: the emergence of free banking in early 19th century Massachusetts”.


In addition to all the sessions above, there will be (in both days) posters by the following early-career scholars:

Andersson, Per Fredrik (Lund), “Fiscal Capacity in Non-Democratic States”

Hanzhi Deng (LSE), The Merit of Misfortune: Taiping Rebellion and the Rise of Indirect Taxation in Modern China, 1850s-1900s

Meng Wu (LSE), “Adjustments and Vicissitudes: Indirect Notes Issuance System in the Republican of China, 1921-1936”, (co-author: Xin Dong)

Mikolaj Malinowski (Lund), “Republic of Clients. Patronage and power concentration in Poland-Lithuania”

Thilo Huning (York), You Reap What You Know: Origins and Dynamics of State Capacity (co-authors: Fabian Wahl of University of Hohenheim)

Oriol Sabaté Domingo, “Linking war, natural resources and public revenues: the case of the War of the Pacific (1879-1883)” (co-autor: José Peres-Cajías)

Ziang Liu (LSE), “Centralisation and Fiscal Patterns: Reassess State Capacity Paradigms in China between the 16th and 18th Century”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s