The Reasons Behind the Rise of Western Europe from an “Indian Perspective”

Kaveh Yazdani

Centre of Global South Asian Studies is pleased to invite you to a public lecture by Dr. Kaveh Yazdani


The vast majority of books and articles that have addressed the important question of Europe’s ascension adhere to the Eurocentric school of thought. Yet, during the past two decades, especially adherents of the ‘California School’ have increasingly engaged in the arduous work of understanding and analyzing the ‘West and the rest’ from a non-Eurocentric and global perspective. The lively discussion is mostly concerned with the reasons behind the Industrial Revolution and why it took place in England and not in other European core areas or advanced regions of China. Few historians and social scientists have examined Mughal and post-Mughal India relative to the rise of the West and the journey towards modernity from a particularly ‘Indian perspective’. In India, Modernity and the Great Divergence, Yazdani examines and analyzes the socio-economic, techno-scientific, military, political and institutional developments of two regions: Gujarat (North-Western India) between the 17th and early 19th centuries and Mysore (Southern India) under the rule of Haidar ‘Ali and Tipu Sultan during the second half of the 18th century. The study aims at gaining a more profound understanding of the transitional processes in the regions at hand by proposing an alternative perspective with regard to the dynamics of modernity.  


Kaveh Yazdani received his PhD degree in social sciences (Sozialwissenschaften) at the University of Osnabrück in 2014 (''summa cum laude''). He was granted the Prince Dr Sabbar Farman-Farmaian fellowship at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam in 2015 and a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa between 2015 and 2017. He is currently lecturer in economic history at the University of Bielefeld. His publications and forthcoming projects have in common that they enquire into questions of modernity, capitalist development, the reasons behind the rise of the West in global comparative perspective as well as the socio-economic and intellectual history of South and West Asia between the 17th and 20th centuries.  

Date: 11th October 2017
Time: 14-16
Venue: 4th floor Meeting Room, ToRS, Building 10, Faculty of Humanities