Drinking with Historians - Nils Gilman

Nils Gilman



Matthew Gabriele and Varsha Venkatasubramanian are Drinking with Historians, a bi-weekly (virtual) happy hour with scholars who study the past. All are welcome to have a drink and maybe learn a thing or two.

In this episode, Matt & Varsha delve into the abyss of Modernization Theory with Dr. Nils Gilman (Berggruen Institute – @Nils_Gilman). We talk about how this idea has shaped and continues to shape American policy both at home and abroad, a weird interview with Walt Whitman Rostow, and how getting a PhD can (somehow!) have a happy ending. All drinkers welcome! Cheers!

Sources for topics mentioned:

Deviant globalization – global flows of not “goods,” but “bads” (drugs, sex trafficking, organ smuggling) a global trade to be banned for moral reasons. It exists because we have a global economy with different morals in different nations.

Arbitrage – economic term; moral differences instead of price of gold differences, even when there is a price premium (eg. the more the US tries to ban cocaine, the higher the manufacturers set the price).

Retail corruption – like a bit of dirt in the house, but if it gets too bad it becomes “wholesale corruption,” where the entire system is corrupt; there is a porousness between the two.

The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto by Walter Rostow: https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-…​

Badges without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing
by Stuart Schrader

Gilman, Nils. “Modernization Theory Never Dies.” History of Political Economy 50, no. 1 (2018): 133–151. https://read.dukeupress.edu/hope/arti…

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington

The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by Laurie Garrett

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Essential Economics Terms: Kuznets Curve – https://www.thoughtco.com/kuznets-cur…​

Nils Gilman’s Substack: https://nilsgilman.substack.com/