Karel Davids, born in Voorburg, the Netherlands, in 1952. Ph.D. from Leiden University. Professor of Economic and Social History at the VU University Amsterdam.
Fellow (1 February 2013 – 30 June 2013)
Sea of Knowledge. Globalization and the Making of Knowledge in the Atlantic World, 17th – Early 19th Centuries
This project takes a spatial view on the development of knowledge. The key question is, how the growth of circulation of people, goods and ideas in the Atlantic world between the 17th and early 19th centuries affected the development of ‘useful and reliable’ knowledge (in navigation, cartography, meteorology, natural history e.g.) and how this body of ‘useful and reliable’ knowledge in turn affected the growth of globalisation. The project compares developments in the British, Dutch, Spanish and French Atlantics and it looks at the role of institutional forces (imperial governments, religious organizations, trading companies, scientific societies) as well as at network-building from below.
(co-authored and co-edited with Jan Lucassen) A Miracle Mirrored. The Dutch Republic in European Perspective (Cambridge 1995, 2011 2nd ed.)
The Rise and Decline of Dutch Technological Leadership. Technology, Economy and Culture in the Netherlands, 1350-1800 (Leiden 2008)
Religion, Technology, and the Great and Little Divergences. China and Europe compared, c.700 -1800 (forthcoming, 2012)