Scott Gehlbach, Tracy Dennison

Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Historical Political Economy

Abstract: Historical political economy sits at the intersection of history and the social sciences. To many, this intersection feels like a yawning divide. Differences in methodology and in research aims make it difficult for historians and social scientists to communicate, much less collaborate. Yet successful collaboration is possible, especially if one considers forms of cooperation beyond traditional co-authorship. Team projects can exploit historians’ familiarity with sources and social scientists’ comfort with data. Joint efforts to summarize the state of a field can bring depth and balance to the study of history. Workshops, journals, and blogs can provide opportunities for social scientists and historians to learn from each other. By bringing together different forms of expertise, interdisciplinary collaboration helps to shine new light on existing problems in historical political economy while opening new avenues of research within and across the disciplines.

Chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Historical Political Economy

The University of Chicago