‘Malthus and the Discovery of Poverty’ – Niall O’Flaherty (King’s College London) – Franco-British History Seminar

Posted on February 24, 2022

24 February 2022 - 17 h 00 min - 18 h 30 min


Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, Paris 6e, room D421, 5pm – 6:30 pm (in-person only. The session will be recorded and posted on the seminar’s YouTube channel).

 

Niall O’Flaherty (King’s College London) : ‘Malthus and the Discovery of Poverty’

Few books have cast such a long shadow as the second edition of T. R. Malthus’ Essay on the Principle of Population (1803). Yet it remains one of the most poorly understood books published during the last two hundred years. I argue that the ‘Great Quarto’ should no longer be read primarily as a work of demography or economics, but as a seminal work in the science of poverty – the first book to try to explain the structural causes and social effects of hardship, and to offer a root-and-branch solution to the problem. In the paper, I will also show that both Malthus’s political and religious ideas were subservient to this social programme and not vice versa as has long been argued. 

Niall O’Flaherty is Senior Lecturer in the History of European Political Thought at King’s College London. He has published Utilitarianism in the Age of Enlightenment: the moral and political thought of William Paley (CUP, 2019) and in the collective book New Perspectives on Malthus dirigé par R. J. Mayhew (CUP, 2016). 

 

Franco-British History Seminar – partnership

The  History Seminar Franco-Britannique has been organised since 2000 at the University Paris-Sorbonne, now in partnership with the Institute of historical Research, London, and with the following research centres: AGORA (Cergy Pontoise), CREA (Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense), CREW (Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle),  CRULH (Lorraine), LARCA (Université de Paris) and the  Maison française d’Oxford. Every year, the programme conveys the latest insights from foreign and French-based researchers in British history, medieval, modern and contemporary British history. Phd and master degree students as well as all researchers with an interest in British history are welcome.

  • Sessions on Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm.
  • At the Maison de recherché de l’université Paris-Sorbonne (28 rue Serpente, Paris 6e).
  • Room D421 (screens at the entrance confirm location)
  • The year’s programme is on the SFB website HERE
  • Talks are taped and archived on the website of the Institute of historical Research Here.

Next sessions

  • Jeudi 10 mars : Andrew Mackillop (Glasgow), ‘Scots in long eighteenth-century London’
  • Jeudi 17 mars : Thomas C. Jones (Buckingham) : “The Foreign Jews Protection Committee: refugee protection and relief in First World War Britain”
  • Jeudi 24 mars : Nigel Leask (Glasgow) : “‘As Little Known as… Kamtschatka’: Reflection on the Highland Tour in the Long 18th Century’
  • Jeudi 31 mars : Hugh McLeod (Birmingham), autour de son livre Le déclin de la chrétienté en Occident. Autour de la crise religieuse des années 1960 (traduit par Elise Trogrlic, Labor et Fides, 2021)
  • Jeudi 7 avril : Barbara Crosbie (Durham) : ‘The Rising Generations: Age Relations and Cultural Change in Eighteenth-Century England’
  • Jeudi 14 avril : Chris Manias (Kings College London), ‘The Age of Mammals: Nature, Development and Palaeontology in the long nineteenth century’
  • Jeudi 21 avril : Emma Griffin (East Anglia), autour de son livre Bread Winner. An Intimate History of the Victorian Economy (Yale University Press, 2020)
  • Jeudi 12 mai : Laura King (Leeds), ‘The School Case of Poor Harold: Families’ multi-generational remembrance of deceased children in twentieth-century England’
 
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