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World Insurance: The Evolution of a Global Risk Network


  • Borscheid, Peter
    (Professor Emeritus of Economic and Social History at the Philipps-University of Marburg)

  • Haueter, Niels Viggo
    (Corporate History, Swiss Re)


Since the end of the eighteenth century, the insurance industry has cast a safety net around the world, first in the British Isles and then further afield, irrespective of cultural, political and ideological divides. Unlike previous publications on insurance history, which tend to discuss the development of national markets or individual companies, this book focuses on the creation of networks across borders from the end of the eighteenth century to the present day. Distinguished international economic historians draw upon examples from twenty countries across the continents to demonstrate how what was called the 'British system' of risk management spread out in waves, and describes the forces that made this possible - first among them migration from Europe and international trade. The book explores the economic, political, religious, and cultural obstacles that blocked the path of this European invention - not only religious law and traditional practices, but above all protectionism, inflation, and political ideologies. It examines the process of transformation through which modern insurance supplanted traditional forms of protection against perils and risks and was able to keep on offering new ways of dealing with the risks of modern life. As well as discussing primary insurance, it also considers the role played by reinsurance, without which the losses arising out of today's natural and man-made disasters would be immeasurably greater. Finally, taking modern-day disaster scenarios as examples, the book shows just what the limits of insurability are and what risks worldwide networks entail. Contributors to this volume - Gustavo A. Del Angel, Professor of Financial History at CIDE (Center for Economics Research and Teaching), Mexico City. G. Balachandran, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Yolanda Blasco Martel, Professor, the University of Barcelona. Peter Borscheid, Professor Emeritus of Economic and Social History, the University of Marburg. James Darroch, Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Director of the Financial Services Program at the Schulich School of Business, York University. David Faure, Wei Lun Professor of History, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Niels Viggo Haueter, Head of Corporate History, Swiss Re Frauke Heard-Bey, Historian and Political Scientist Myung Hwi Lee, Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, the Ewha Womans University. Dr Monica Keneley, Associate Professor in Finance, the School of Accounting Economics and Finance, Deakin University Victoria, Australia. Duol Kim, Fellow, Korea Development Institute, and Adjunct Professor, KDI School of Public Policy and Management. Matthias Kipping, Professor of Policy and Chair in Business History, the Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada. Christopher Kobrak, Professor of Finance, ESCP Europe, and an International Fellow at the Centre for Corporate Reputation, Oxford University. Elisabeth Koll, Associate Professor, the Harvard Business School. Martin Lengwiler, Professor for Modern History, the University of Basle. Marcelo de Paiva Abreu, Professor of Economics, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Robin Pearson, Professor of Economic History, the University of Hull, UK. Yuri A. Petrov, Director of the Institute of Russian History, RAN, Moscow. Giandomenico Piluso, Lecturer of Economic History, the University of Siena and Adjunct Professor of Business History, Bocconi University, Milan. Jeronia Pons, Senior Lecturer in Economic History, the University of Seville, Spain. Rodrigo Rabetino, Assistant Professor, the Department of Management, the University of Vaasa, Finland. Samir Saul, Professor of History, the Universite de Montreal. Andre Straus, Directeur de recherches, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris. Felipe Tamega Fernandes, Chief-Economist, Banco Modal, and at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Grietjie Verhoef, Professor in Accounting and Economic History, the Department of Accountancy, the University of Johannesburg. Takau Yoneyama, Professor at Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo.

Suggested Citation

  • Borscheid, Peter & Haueter, Niels Viggo (ed.), 2012. "World Insurance: The Evolution of a Global Risk Network," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199657964.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199657964

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