2023-2024 / HIST0267-1

Economic and social history


45h Th

Number of credits

 Master in history (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in history (60 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Advanced Master in Philosophy and Political Theories5 crédits 


Eric Geerkens

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

All year long, with partial in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course consists of two parts, acknowledging the long-standing fact that economic and social history has long since been divided into social history on the one hand and economic history on the other.

The first part goes back to the foundations of social history, defined by its methods more than by its particular objects. While the historical sciences most often implicitly give precedence to the role of individuals, the aim here is to see how history can think about the social (social fact, social groups, influence of groups on individuals). At the same time, the course aims to show how human sciences, in particular sociology, can nourish the historical reflection. As a direct extension of this introductory section, the question of categories and scales of analysis in social history will be addressed, the question of how to structure men in society other than as a collection of isolated individualities, from the approach to social classes studied in a regional framework to the different forms of event history analysis, from national comparisons to trans-national approaches. In this way, recent developments of social history will be presented.

The presentation of the key concepts of the main theories is illustrated by articles from historians who use these concepts in their research.

The second, shorter part deals with approaches and methods of economic history which can, in turn, feed your reflection as a historian in training. It also concludes with a brief overview of the current state of economic history.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

By the end of the course, students will be able to research recent historical literature on defined questions of economic and social history, to discuss them and finally to integrate them into their own research. Beyond the course, if necessary, they can feed their personal work (including the TFE) with conceptual contributions from the social sciences.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

On-site teaching.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:


Recommended or required readings

Via MyULiège, the students will receive articles to be read and copies of Powerpoint slides shown in class.

Exam(s) in session

January exam session

- In-person

written exam

May-June exam session

- In-person

oral exam

August-September exam session

- In-person

oral exam

Additional information:

The January written examination covers the first part of the course (the genesis of quantitative social history); it dispenses with the study of this part of the course if the mark obtained is equal to or higher than 10/20. The January exam counts for 25% of the final mark. If the mark is less than 10/20, it does not count towards the final mark.

During the oral exams in May-June and August-September, students draw lots for a set of three questions; they are given written preparation time for each question; however, while the preparation time for the main question is about 15 minutes, this is not the case for the other two questions, for which the preparation time is shorter and given after the answer to the first question.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Eric Geerkens, professor Histoire économique et sociale quai Roosevelt, 1B (Bât. A4) 4000 Liège Belgium
Tel. ULg : +32 4 366 53 59 Fax ULg : +32 4 366 58 38 Mail : e.geerkens@uliege.be 

Association of one or more MOOCs