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CFP: RSE/IREH Special Issue "Colonial Legacy in South Asia"

Colonial Legacy in South Asia – special issue proposal

Guest editors: Tirthankar Roy and Maanik Nath


The Rivista di Storia Economica - Italian Review of Economic History is pleased to announce a special issue on Colonial Legacy in South Asia. The special issue seeks to assemble economic history papers that explore the effects of colonialism on economic development in postcolonial South Asia. Tirthankar Roy and Maanik Nath are editors of the special issue.

The economic history of South Asia has been a vibrant field over the last three decades. New research avenues have emerged owing in part to the mining of previously unexplored data and historians’ use of innovative methods. Most of this scholarship has focused on the question: What was the impact of British colonial rule on economic development in the long run? Economic historians explore this topic with law and legal regimes, business organization, interventions in the physical environment, as well as regional connectivity and market integration. 

The special issue aims to take this agenda forward to the 70 odd years since colonial rule ended. What legacy did colonialism leave in South Asia? The mid- to late-twentieth century saw powerful forces of change. South Asia saw emergence of developmental states, unprecedented levels of public investment, regulation of private enterprise, Green Revolutions, environmental stress, and legislation. How deep were these changes? How persistent were the colonial legacies? How were the inherited institutions reshaped, consciously or otherwise? In short, the special issue asks what changed in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and why.

The editors invite papers to be submitted by 1 July 2024 via the journal’s submission portal: The editors are excited to receive your contributions and to curate a collection of papers that expand our collective knowledge of South Asian economic history.

Please do not hesitate to contact the special issue editors at and should you have any questions.


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