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Ewout Frankema


Patrick Manning has been one of the leading scholars of African historical demography since the late 1970s. This essay takes stock of his contribution to the field and highlights some of the debates in which Manning has participated over the past forty years. The essay also discusses some of the main challenges of extrapolating African population series into previous centuries, arguing that the models designed by Manning capture the potential negative consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave trade on African population development since 1500 well, but that the next step forward requires methods for estimating the positive effects of the introduction and diffusion of New World food crops in Africa.

Dennis O. Flynn


The unconventional model presented herein—Laws of Supplies and Demands— furnishes a view of the discipline of economics as both a social science and a physical science. This essay begins with Big History origins of Earthly mineral foundations upon which the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and today’s Computer Age were based, according to prominent geologist Walter Alvarez. Alvarez argues persuasively that geographical concentrations of specific productive inputs across Earth have been essential prerequisites for existence of all economic ages. This essay complements Alvarez’s focus upon economic inputs by extending consideration to geographical concentrations of economic outputs (goods). Mechanisms that explain concentrations of final goods in specific geographical locations across Earth comprise the core of the Laws of Supplies and Demands model. The flows-only orientation of conventional microeconomics (Laws of Supply and Demand) and conventional macroeconomics—both of which limit attention to time-dimensioned variables such as incomes and expenditures—is broadened to incorporate accumulations: wealth components (point-in-time-snapshots). By definition, services cannot be stocked, whereas goods accumulate as wealth components. The Laws of Supplies and Demands provide theoretical underpinnings for widespread interest today in empirical social science investigations of wealth accumulations and wealth distributions.

Bennett G. Sherry


In the 1980s, over a million Iranian asylum seekers transited through Turkey on their way west, most moving through irregular migration channels. While much has been made of Turkey’s evolving role in more recent refugee crises, this literature neglects the importance of the 1980s Iranian refugee migrations in shaping the global refugee system. By connecting the story of the international human rights movement to the Ankara office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), this paper emphasizes the role of non-state actors. Based on research in the archives of the UNHCR, this paper argues that the UNHCR and Amnesty International used human rights as a tool to pressure Turkey to open its doors to Iranian refugees in the early 1980s, and that this tactic backfired when the West closed its own doors on refugees later in the decade. The result was the increased forcible return of refugees by Turkish authorities to Iran and newly restrictive asylum policies, which would shape refugee migrations through Turkey for decades. For millions of refugees, Turkey has served as transit hub on their journey west; in the 1980s, human rights hypocrisy made it a cul-de-sac.

George Dehner


Patrick Manning, in his book Navigating World History, suggests that world history “has the potential to become a scholarly nexus linking many fields of study” that will enable historians to escape the “national paradigm that continues to constrain most studies in humanities and social sciences.” This article will test Manning’s proposal in the developing field of environmental history by examining the topics of panels and papers selected for the annual conferences of the American Society of Environmental Historians in the years following the 2003 publication of Navigating World History. Environmental history has evolved to enlarge its lens of analysis to span both borders and time frames. Born with a strong interdisciplinary base and shaped by works that straddle world and environmental history, the field has had a natural affinity with world history. Increasingly, research topics have served to blur the line between environmental and world history.

Jean-Jacques Ngor Sène


Few scholars have been successful at articulating with as much clarity as Patrick Manning does, the relevance and centrality of African history to world history. The historical experiences of the peoples of Africa, within, above, and beyond the Anthropocene, had not been synthetized with a view of globalizing certain Forms of the African Past as integral pieces of the mosaic of the Human Adventure. This essay presents the extent of Manning’s contributions to the debates regarding the general concept of Afrocentricity in practice, namely in relation to the construction of functional global institutions where learned citizens congregate to boost humanity’s intellectual capital. Pat Manning stands out for deconstructing in engaging arrangements—that is, in bravura and substance—the marginalization of Africa and Africans in the academic deliberations about the emergence of cosmopolitan Modernity over the past six or seven centuries at a global scale. Manning-Senseï reverberates in global academia the influences of Black peoples on “the Human System in Movement.” On the other hand, Manning arguably evades the moralization of the discourse that participates in the travails for the restoration of historical consciousness in Black Africa, inducing thereby the ubiquitous question of contemporary world historians’ political responsibility.

Yinghong Cheng


This biographical essay sketches Patrick Manning’s career in world history and the contributions he has made to the field. Starting as a social and economic historian of Africa, Manning has continued to expand his interests by responding to the calls that history as an intellectual enterprise receives from society. As an educator and academic organizer, Manning taught for many years at Northeastern University and the University of Pittsburgh, established and helped to build many graduate programs and scholarly associations, and served as vice president (2004–2006) and president (2016–2017) of the American Historical Association.