Professor Maria Fusaro




Extension: 4456

Telephone: 01392 724456

My research and teaching interests lie in the social and economic history, interpreted in its broadest sense, of Early Modern Europe.

A primary area of expertise is the history of Italy (especially the Venetian Republic) and the Mediterranean between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. My research has focused on commercial networks and the role they played in the early phases of globalization; on the economic, social and cultural analysis of late medieval and early modern empires and on the early modern development of legal institutions supporting trade. I have also published on commercial litigation and the status of foreigners in civil courts in the medieval and early modern period, the trade between the Mediterranean and the north of Europe, the history of the Venetian dominions in Greece, and on the dialogue between different national historiographies.


ERC Consolidator Grant - Average - Transaction Costs and Risk Management during the First Globalization (Sixteenth-Eighteenth Centuries). For 5 years starting in the summer of 2017, together with 4 doctoral candidates, 1 post-doctoral Research Fellow and 7 Visiting Senior Researchers I shall be working on on a large comparative project focused on economic institutions and their impact on economic development. We shall work on a legal instrument – general average (GA) – which underpins maritime trade by redistributing extraordinary costs across all parties engaged in the business venture. Watch this space as more information on this will be published in the next few months.

You can hear more details on this project at: 

ERC Starting Grant - Sailing into Modernity: Comparative Perspectives on the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century European Economic Transition'. Bteween 2012 and 2014, together with my team - Bernard Allaire, Richard Blakemore and Tijl Vanneste - we focussed on the comparative study of contractual conditions and economic treatment of sailors across Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. 

During 2015 I worked  within the project ‘La reconfiguration de l’espace méditerranéen: échanges interculturels et pragmatique du droit en Méditerranée, XVe-début XIXe siècle, interdisciplinary research project chaired by W. Kaiser (Paris 1/EHESS, Paris), funded through the  ERC Advanced Grant Scheme (2012-2017). Within that project I have investigated the legal frameworks for managing issues related to ab intestato inheritance across Europe during the early modern period, and the role these played in fostering economic development.