Conflict And Co-operation - A History Of Trade


0101Cafe Talk20180101

Paul Seabright begins a ten-part exploration of our trading past.

Economist and author, Paul Seabright, begins a series that explores our trading story, from the earliest exchange networks in child-care and food, right up to the modern day. He discusses the links between trade and war, the different phases of globalization, and how the history of trade features major setbacks as well as extraordinary progress.

In episode one, Paul visits the Café Bibent in Toulouse to talk about the city's connections with two key moments in the history of trade: Adam Smith and his great book The Wealth of Nations, and the outbreak of World War One.

Producer: Chris Ledgard.

0102Early Exchanges20180102

Paul Seabright explores what human childcare teaches us about our willingness to trade.

Paul Seabright examines how goods and services were exchanged in our earliest history. He talks to the primatologist Sarah Hrdy about hunter-gatherer child-care arrangements, and what they teach us about the willingness of human beings to trade. And in New Zealand, Paul meets the historian Kerry Howe to learn about the origins of early trade networks across the Pacific Ocean.

Producer: Chris Ledgard.

0103Trade And War20180103

To cut a deal or start a war? Paul Seabright discusses the history of trade and violence.

0104Distance Matters20180104

Paul Seabright investigates what distance does to our willingness to trade.

0105Fair Exchange20180105

Consumer protectors or greedy monopolists? Paul Seabright explores the role of the guilds.

0106The Black Death20180108

Paul Seabright investigates the links between trade and disease.

As it advanced across Europe in the mid-14th century, the Black Death wiped out as many as half of the communities it affected. And yet, in its wake, there was a major resurgence in European trade, with long-lasting effects. Why? Paul Seabright explores the connections between trade and disease.

Producer: Chris Ledgard.

0107When Cultures Collide20180109

When civilizations meet, trade has a major part to play. Paul Seabright investigates.

When Captain Cook arrived in New Zealand waters in 1769, his sailors and the Maori who met them began to trade almost immediately. When two civilizations meet, trade has a major role to play - for good and for bad. Paul Seabright investigates the cultural impact of trade. And, in a story from China, he hears how the social consequences of trade contacts made many centuries ago can still be seen today.

Producer: Chris Ledgard.

0108The Box20180110

Paul Seabright explains why the shipping container was such a revolutionary invention.


Paul Seabright examines the role of slave labour in the expansion of global trade.

The exchange of human beings for work or sex or other forms of enslavement has been a feature of human society throughout history. Paul Seabright looks at the part slavery has played in the industrialization of the western world, and in the lives of countless unsuspecting people who were captured and transported as a result of trading activity on the other side of the globe.

Producer: Chris Ledgard.

0110Age Of Anxiety20180112

Paul Seabright discusses why globalization makes people anxious about trade.