The course will deal with the history of illicit, informal, and unmeasured economies. Since the 19th century, the licit and illicit economies seem to share spaces, networks, and even practices. That includes informal arrangements, alternatives to sanctioned markets and even connections to organized crime.

We will investigate how strong this entanglement is, how clear the distinction between both spheres can be drawn, and how economic and social history can be written from the perspective of criminal entrepreneurs, informal laborers, and people from the margins of society.

The course will combine historical case studies, such as Prohibition, the history of Black Markets, smuggling, and the history of the drug and arms trade with theoretical approaches from sociology.

We will occasionally discuss primary sources in addition to regular readings. In order to gain credits, students will be responsible for moderating parts of the discussions. Details on this will be given in the first session of the course.  

Please note that the assigned readings will be in English, as will be discussions within the course!

Semester: SuTerm 2021