Professor Maria Fusaro

Research interests

Current Project:

ERC Consolidator Grant - Average - Transaction Costs and Risk Management during the First Globalization (Sixteenth-Eighteenth Centuries)

Watch this space as more information on this will be published in the next few months.


Current Project

Financed thanks to the Small Grants Scheme of the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust I am corrently working on “The Grand Tour of Mercantilism: Lord Fauconberg and his Italian mission (1669-1671)”. This project investigates the international political implications descending from the differences in maritime law between the North and South of Europe in the seventeenth century. Within this project i have organised an international workshop on 'general average' (27-28 November 2015), and I am working on an article of the same title with Andrea Addobbati (Università di Pisa)


Past Projects:

ERC Starting Grant - Sailing into Modernity:

Between 2012 and 2014, under the aegis of an ERC Starting Grant, I worked on ‘Sailing into Modernity: Comparative Perspectives on the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century European Economic Transition’, which involved 3 post-doctoral Research Assistants: Bernard Allaire working on France, Richard Blakemore on England and Tijl Vanneste on the Netherlands.

Together we edited the volume Labour, Law and Empire: Comparative Perspectives on Seafarers, c. 1500-1800, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2015. See:,-labour,-and-empire-maria-fusaro/?K=9781137447456

Several other essays presenting its results are currently in press, and my monograph The Making of a Global Labour Market, 1573-1729: Maritime Law and the Political Economy of the Early Modern Mediterranean, is under contract with Cambridge University Press for delivery in 2017.

In the course of the project we developed several resources related to early modern maritime labour, these are available here:

There is also a podcast where I discuss the relevance of the issues at play and the central points investigated by the project, you can find it here:

* all these resources are still a work in progress, and the site is regularly updated. More material shall be uploaded once all the essays/monograph associated to the project will have been published.


Other projects:

My book Political Economies of Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean: The Decline of Venice and the Rise of England 1450-1700, was published in May 2015 with Cambridge University Press. See:

You can see some reviews here:

History Today:

Global Intellectual History: 

International Journal of Maritime History,

The Mariner's Mirror,

The Journal of Modern History,



Completed projects:

I have co-organised the official session of the International Maritime Economic History Association at the 2009 World Economic History Congress in Utrecht (Netherlands). A selection of the paper presented has been published as Maritime History as Global History, co-edited with A. Polónia (St. John’s (Newfoundland): IMEHA ‘Researches in Maritime History’ 43, 2010)

I was awarded an AHRC grant for a research workshop on Intercultural Contacts, Multiple Identities and Shifting Allegiances: the Caravane Maritime and its Protagonists in the Early Modern Mediterranean, in collaboration with Colin Heywood (University of Hull) and Mohamed-Salah Omri (University of Exeter). The workshop took place in Exeter in December 2007. Further details at:

We also published a selection of the papers presented at the workshop in the volume: Trade and Cultural Exchange in the Early Modern Mediterranean: Braudel’s Maritime Legacy, London: I.B.Tauris, 2010


Forthcoming and Recent seminar and conference papers:

I spoke at the International Conference on Migrating Words, Migrating Merchants: Migrating Law, the 4th meeting of the international research project The Making of Commercial Law: Common Practices and National Legal Rules from the Early Modern to the Modern Period, Frankfurt am Mein (19-21 September 2016), where I delivered a paper on “‘Seamen’s Employment and States’ Jurisdiction, the View from the Early Modern Mediterranean’

I contributed to the panel "Connected Oceans" for the Seventh International Congress of Maritime History (ICMH7), Murdoch University (Perth, Western Australia, 27 June-1 July 2016), with a paper titled: ‘Connecting Oceans and Seas: Maritime Laws and Customs in the Early Modern Globalization’.

I delivered the lecture Global History and Mediterranean History: Considerations on an Uneasy but Necessary Dialogue at Yale University (2 March 2016)

At the international Conference Global Maritime History sponsored by the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute (Huntington Library, Los Angeles (4-5 March 2016)) I spoke on 'The Global Relevance of the European ‘Ocean’: A Historiographical Reassessment of the Early Modern Mediterranean'.

Invited keynote speaker (‘Between Micro and Macro: Considerations on Trade Networks in the Early Modern Mediterranean’) at the international conference: Shaping Networks from the Antiquity till the Modern Era (National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens, 11-12th December 2015)

At the International Conference on Runaways: Desertion and Mobility in Global Labor History, c. 1650-1850, I delivered a paper on ‘Criminal Offence or Contractual Renegotiation? A Comparative Perspective on Deserting Ships in the Early Modern Mediterranean’ (International Institute of Social History and Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh (Amsterdam, 22-23 October 2015))

I was invited to contribute to the workshop on "Law and Economy in Shakespeare", part of the activites of the ERC-funded project Crossraods of Knowledge: Early Modern Drama, Law and Economics (Cambridge, Oct 2015)

I organised the panel ‘Entrepreneurs at sea: sailors' trading practices and legal opportunities in the first globalization (15th-19th centuries)’ and delivered a paper on the same topic at the XVII World Economic History Congress (Kyoto, 3-8 August 2015), see the published version at: 

‘Sovereignty of the Sea, Sovereignty on Seamen: some Considerations on State Intervention and Maritime Employment in the Seventeenth Century’ at the conference The Emergence of a Maritime Nation: Britain in the Tudor and Stuart Age, 1485–1714 (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, 24-25 July 2015)

Panel discussant at the workshop Element of Proofs and Commercial Litigations in the Mediterranean, part of the ConfigMed project (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 18-20 June 2015)

‘The Global Relevance of the European ‘Ocean’: an Historiographical Reassessment of the Early Modern Mediterranean’ at the international conference Connected Oceans: New Avenues of Research in Maritime and Oceans History (University of Porto, 8-12 June 2015)


Research collaborations

I am part of the team of ConfigMed – ‘La reconfiguration de l’espace méditerranéen: échanges interculturels et pragmatique du droit en Méditerranée, XVe-début XIXe siècle ( an interdisciplinary research project chaired by Wolfgang Kaiser (Paris 1/EHESS, Paris), funded through the  ERC Advanced Grant Scheme (2012-2017). See:


I am an Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine at the Universitè de Nice - Sophia Antipolis (France), and I serve on the scientific committee of their project Les consuls, figures de l’intermédiation marchande en Europe et dans le monde méditerranéen (XVIIe-XIXe siècles).