This comparative project is primarily rooted in the theories and methods of economic anthropology, but it also sets out to renew links to historical sociology and adjacent fields. The key unit of analysis is "civilisation" in the universal spirit of Marcel Mauss, with Eurasia-specific inflections drawn primarily from Max Weber's work on the "world religions". The research team will adapt the concept of moral economy (E.P. Thompson, building on foundations that date back to Aristotle) and the Weberian notion of "economic ethic" (Wirtschaftsethik) and operationalise these at multiple levels within the civilisational frame. It will combine detailed ethnographic investigations of households and family businesses, in towns selected to ensure structural comparability, with attention to the embeddedness of economy in religion, polity, and society as they have evolved together in the longue durée of the Eurasian past. Eurasia is here understood in the classical broad sense, including the entire landmass of Europe and Asia.
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