Economy, Business and Environment in History



The human relationship with the material world, animals and natural phenomena is often only a side-show of the narratives of economic and business history. Economic and business historians have been inclined to describe nature and its resources as valuable inputs into our economies or raw materials for the markets of the industrialized world. In addition, major events and turning points in economic history have usually been related to financial, monetary, political and technological changes and not so much to ecological transformations or hazards. These approaches have added to our knowledge, for instance, of international trade and globalization in the long term, but have also overshadowed intricate human–nature and human–animal relationships and their cultural, societal and ecological ramifications. Within that narrative, nature and non-human agents have often been regarded as the silent objects of human actions without considering how humans will end up the objects of their own action and how that affects their mindsets, patterns, practises and recollection of the past.

This Special Issue of the Scandinavian Economic History Review invites papers exploring the intersection of economy, business and the environment in any time or region. Among others, possible topics to be addressed in this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • The place of nature and non-human agents in the historiography and theory of economic and business history

  • Artificial environments created by extractive and manufacturing industries

  • Industrialized animals

  • Economic activities, environmental concern/environmental regulation and place

  • Industrial waste and its material flows and embodiment

  • Natural disasters and/or natural forces as game changers in business and industry

  • Historical memory and human-induced environmental transformations or industrial hazards

Contributions that bridge the gap between economic history, business history and environmental history are especially welcome. Contributions are welcome on any industry or country.


Articles should be based on original research and/or innovative analysis and should not be under consideration for publication by any other journal. Submissions should clearly indicate that they are intended for this Special Issue of the Scandinavian Economic History Review on Economy, Business and History. The responsibility for English copy-editing rests with the individual article contributors.

Submissions not exceeding 9000 words should be sent through the journal’s online submission system (

Submissions to this special issue should arrive not later than 31 January 2018.

All articles will be peer reviewed and therefore some may not be accepted. Authors should ensure that their manuscripts comply fully with the formatting standards of the Scandinavian Economic History Review.

Editorial information

Guest editor: Esa Ruuskanen, University of Oulu, Finland.