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Nederlandsch Economisch-Historisch Archief (NEHA) Bijzondere Collecties 277, folio 58.

© Nederlandsch Economisch-Historisch Archief (NEHA)

€1.8 million grant awarded to humanities research Professor at University of Exeter

An international team lead by Professor Maria Fusaro, University of Exeter, has been awarded an €1.8 million ERC Consolidator Grant to investigate the development of General Average laws and procedures during the Early Modern period.

General Average (GA) is the practice, still in use today, of apportioning costs arising from the jettison of cargo or of intentionally damaging a ship (for example, by cutting its mast) to prevent greater damage or even the loss of the entire vessel and its cargo (typically during a storm). This topic has been almost entirely neglected by scholars, despite the survival of rich Early Modern documentary evidence in the archives of Genoa, Venice, Livorno, Amsterdam, and elsewhere. The multi-disciplinary project will research the development of GA across Europe from economic, legal and political perspectives. The team includes scholars from the UK, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. The project will be completed in five years.

“We can learn much from the study of General Average,” Professor Fusaro said. “It provides insights into cultural, legal, and business evolution over the duration of the early modern period, shows how people worked together to manage and overcome risk, and how jurisdictions separated by varying traditions reached consensus.”

Date: 9 January 2018

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