Francesco Boldizzoni

Phone: +358 2941 23824
Room: 1042, Snellmania
Address: Faculty of Social Sciences, Unionsgatan 37
Postal Address: P.O. Box 54, 00014 University of Helsinki

Before joining the University of Helsinki in 2017, I held a research professorship in economic history at the University of Turin for five years. I have been a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, since 2008.

My research looks at the problems of capitalist societies through historical lenses. It pays special attention to culture and ideas as powerful forces that drive both human behavior and our understanding of it. Current writing projects include two books approaching capitalism from complementary angles: one examines the long-term dynamics of welfare state formation and crisis; the other is about misadventures in social forecasting since Karl Marx.

I am a founding editor of Capitalism and History, a new Penn Press journal committed to the dissemination of cutting-edge research and debate on past and present capitalist societies worldwide: their economies, value structures, and intellectual products.

I am happy to supervise doctoral students interested in exploring themes at the intersection of history and social theory, particularly those falling within the broad scope of historical political economy.

Current projects

The End of Capitalism: Misadventures in Social Forecasting since Karl Marx. Under contract with Harvard University Press.

The Trap of Wealth: The Making and Breaking of Welfare States. Under contract with Oxford University Press.

Key publications

Means and Ends: The Idea of Capital in the West, 1500-1970 (London: Macmillan, 2008).

The Poverty of Clio: Resurrecting Economic History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011).

“On History and Policy: Time in the Age of Neoliberalism,” Journal of the Philosophy of History 9:1 (Winter 2015).

Routledge Handbook of Global Economic History, co-ed. with Pat Hudson (London: Routledge, 2016).

“Capitalism’s Futures Past: Expectations in History and Theory,” Critical Historical Studies 4:3 (Fall 2017).

“Capital, Class, and Empire: Nineteenth-Century Political Economy and Its Imaginary” in The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought, ed. by Warren Breckman and Peter E. Gordon, vol. I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, in press).

“Sitting on the Edge of Apocalypse: Victorian Prophecies of Capitalism’s Downfall,” Capitalism and History 1:1 (Winter 2019), in press.