© copyright 2020 David Chan Smith    

Exploring Intellectual & Business History 


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Christian Thought and the Emergence of the Cooperative in England

Berle Symposium on Corporations, Law and Society (May 27, 2020): What influence did Christian thought have on cooperative ideas and the law in nineteenth-century England? This paper explores this relationship and discusses the long history of cooperation as a means to spiritual and material fulfilment.

Talk: Prosecuting Smuggling in Walpole’s Britain: New Evidence from a Wide Survey

North American Conference on British Studies, Vancouver (November 17, 2019): Smugglers abounded in eighteenth-century Britain. Dealing in now familiar commodities - tea, tobacco, wine - traffickers sought to evade customs and excise officers who hunted them at every turn. What happened when they were caught? This paper uses quantitative data to explore the prosecution of smugglers during the 1720s, revealing not only that local juries were often reluctant to convict, but the government itself was careful to avoid too harsh punishments. 

Join us, 28 June, for an interdisciplinary symposium at the Weston Library, Oxford to investigate how businesses change or contest social norms over time. Sometimes these norms bind business decision-making. At other points, however, entrepreneurs and managers disrupt social norms through the creation and spread of new products and services. We explore the social, ethical and business implications of these processes for the functioning of capitalism. 

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I am currently a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Department of History where I teach about the history of capitalism and economic thought... read more