Session 1/2: Comparing Risk Management Strategies in the Mediterranean and East Asian Maritime Business (16th-19th centuries)

Wednesday, July 20th 2022, 14:30–19:00 (CEST), Room U1 197

Zoom-Link: | Meeting ID: 666 0028 7970

Session Organiser: Giovanni Cecarelli (University of Parma/University of Exeter)


A well-established strand in the scholarship on risk and its management considers maritime economies as the ideal context where multiple responses to the uncertain are developed. In characterising this multiplicity, an evolutionary perspective often prevails, with modern and theoretically more efficient options replacing traditional ones. Scholars have mainly focused on premium insurance thereby often overlooking various alternatives available to manage risks of maritime trade by mitigating, sharing or via mutuality (for example, sea loans, general average, commenda partnerships, networks) that have developed over time. This panel, consisting of a team of specialists in insurance and maritime history, present a different approach. It targets distinctive ‘ecosystems of risk’ and compares geographically diverse perceptions of marine trade risks and links the various business strategies adopted to manage them. Since maritime economies are not closed systems it is necessary to change the scale and then study the responses to uncertainty in light of spatially large phenomena. Thus a comparative approach is adopted contrasting two distinct geographical contexts: the Mediterranean and the East Asian maritime corridor. To observe each ‘ecosystem of risk’ contributors will focus on the points of contact among maritime systems, where the dynamics are more visible thanks to cultural, economic, and institutional diversity. This approach should greatly improve our understanding of the different trajectories followed in Early Modernity by the Mediterranean and East Asia in managing maritime risks.

1. Perceiving and Managing Maritime Risks: a Post-Colonial Approach

  • Giovanni Ceccarelli, Department of Economics and Management, University of Parma/ Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter

2. From Genoa to Nagasaki - Carlo Spinola S.J. 's View on Maritime Loan in 17th Century Japan

  • Mihoko Oka, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, University of Tokyo

3. Why Maritime Insurance Has Never Gone Beyond Sea Loans or Respondentia Procedures in Late Imperial China?

  • François Gipouloux, CNRS Emeritus Research Director, CNRS/EHESS-Paris

4. Businessmen Response to Uncertainty and Risk in Genoese Maritime Trade (17th-18th Centuries)

  • Luisa Piccinno, Department of Economy, University of Genoa/University of Exeter
  • Andrea Zanini, Department of Economy, University of Genoa/University of Exeter

5. Insuring the Business Power. Governance and Institutional Change in Marine Insurance in the 19th Century South of Italy (1820-1890)

  • Maria Carmela Schisani, Department of Economy,University of Naples ‘Federico II’ (online)
  • Giancarlo Ragozini, Department of Economy, University of Naples ‘Federico II’

6. Ransom Transactions and Risk Management in the 17th Century Mediterranean

  • Andrea Addobbati, Department of History, University of Pisa (online)