History Economics

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The course is designed to equip students with the necessary analytical skills to understand and critique the issues of the contemporary world. Special emphasis is given to the importance of sustainable economic growth and the significance of continued technological developments. The course expounds upon the first era of globalization, as well as the reasons for its decline, and describes the present era of globalization, along with the dangers it entails and the trajectory of the winners and losers on the road to economic development. The study of the economic and social history of the world during the last three hundred years is based on the twelve paradigms of the Contemporary Era, culminating with a consideration of the challenges we face in the present.


The syllabus is divided into two parts: the first is focused on the paradigms that characterize the Contemporary Era, while the second highlights the challenges of the 21st century. The study of the paradigms of the Contemporary Era focuses on: sustainable economic growth; exponential demographic growth; the rise and decline of the gold standard; the on-going technological revolution; international commerce and globalization; the development of big business; agriculture without farmers and farmers without land; the rise and fall of grand empires and the reality of underdevelopment; migratory patterns; the construction of a better world; the rise and decline of grand utopian visions and the affirmation of democracy; and the emancipation of women. The study of the challenges for the 21st century highlights: exponential population growth, population aging, economic development as a major cause of climate change.

Teaching Methodologies

The teaching methodology follows a verbal logic (expository) with projection of transparencies, appealing to the interaction of the students.


LANDES, David, A riqueza e a pobreza das nações. Por que são algumas tão ricas e outras tão pobres, Lisboa, Gradiva, 2001.

PEYREFITTE, Alain, O “Milagre” em Economia, Gradiva, Lisboa, 1998.

SACHS, Jeffrey, O Fim da Pobreza. (2005), Lisboa, Casa das Letras, 2006.

STIGLITZ, Joseph E., Globalização. A grande desilusão. Lisboa, Terramar, 2002.

BRAUDEL, Fernand, “Le temps du monde” in Civilisation Matérielle, Economie et Capitalisme, Xve-XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Armand Colin, 1979.

COHEN, Daniel, Globalization and its Enemies, MIT, 2007.

FOREMAN-PECK, J., Historia de la economia mundial, Barcelona, Ariel, 1985.

HABAKKUK,H.J. e POSTAN, M., “Las revoluciones industriales y sus consecuencias” in Historia Economica de Europa, Universidade de Cambridge, Tomo VI, Partes I e II.

KEMP, Tom, A revolução industrial na Europa do século XIX, Lisboa, Ed.70, 1987.

NUNES, Ana Bela e Nuno Valério, O crescimento económico moderno, Lisboa, ed. Presença, 1995.



ECTS Credits



  • Teóricas - 30 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 30 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • 1st Test: 35%
  • 2nd Test: 35%
  • Oral presentation: 30%