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Lecture by Prof Tirthankar Roy

As part of the Lecture Series scheduled for the year 2018-19 by Visiting Research Fellows at the Centre, Professor Tirthankar Roy, Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Visiting Professor at CDS delivered a lecture on, “What do business historians do?” at the CDS on 6 September 2018.

The first part of the lecture introduced the leading questions that drive Business History as a field. The three main questions addressed were : (1) Where does entrepreneurship come from? (2) As the corporate form of organization is established, how is good governance achieved? And (3) how does industrial organization evolve and adapt?

The second part of the lecture discussed the business history field in India, mainly in relation to the first two questions. The field in India has been preoccupied with the origin of entrepreneurship, some of the key ideas in this area were introduced. The field has somewhat overlooked the governance issues, and finally, the lecture ended with some subsidiary points related to governance that future research could explore. The lecture cited instances from the speaker’s recent book A Business History of India (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Professor Thirthankar Roy is presently Professor in the Economic History Department of the London School of Economics. He works on economic history, business history, history of development policy and the classical music of India. He teaches South Asia and Global History at the LSE, and is the author of the recent book A Business History of India besides other books and articles.