Personal profile

Personal information

Karel Davids is Full Professor of Economic and Social History in the Faculty of Humanities and the School of Business and Economics since March 1, 1994.


Telephone: + 31 20 598 6354

Citations and h-index:


Global history; maritime history; history of technology, history of relations between humans and animals, c. 1500 - present. 

  • comparative history of the development of knowledge in Europe, Asia and the Atlantic world,c.700-1850
  • losing knowledge: historical perspectives
  • cities and knowledge, 17th-21th centuries 
  • urban transformations and capitalism,  17th-21th centuries 

Current projects

Slaves, commodities and logistics. The economic impact of Dutch Republic transatlantic slave-based activities c.1700-1850. (with prof. dr. Marcel van der Linden, IISG, and prof.dr. Henk den Heijer,  University of Leiden) (NWO-funded) (2013-2018)

Ocean of knowledge. Globalizing forces and the growth of knowledge in the Atlantic world, 1660-1860 (partly KNAW(NIAS)-funded) (2013-2018)

The Senate and the People in small power constitutional monarchies in the North Atlantic c.1800-present (with dr. Wybren Verstegen VU and dr. Nikolaj Bijleveld (RU Groningen) (KNAW-funded) (2017-2019)


  • The world and the Netherlands: Economic and social history
  • The heart of capitalism (FGW/School of Business and Economics)
  • Social history of the United States
  • Commodity chains and consumption
  • Development of macro-economic thought (School of Business and Economics)
  • Globalizing knowledge (MA)
  • Travelling ideas (MA)

Ancillary activities

  • Brill Publishers | Leiden | Adviseur | 2014-01-29
  • Dr. C.Louise Thijssen-Schoute Stichting | Amsterdam | Chair | 2014-10-01
  • Stichting Willibrordusorgel | Haarlem | Chair | 2014-10-01
  • Tijdschrift Studium | Amsterdam | Adviseur | 2014-10-01

Last update Ancillary Activities: Amsterdam (2018-02-23)

Research Output 1973 2017

Bespreking van Louis Sicking, La naissance d'une thalassocratie

Davids, K. 2017 In : Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis. 130, 4, p. 669-671

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Florijn, Van Swinden and the Longitude Committee (1787-1818)

Davids, K. 2017 Pour une histoire du Bureau des Longitudes (1795-1832). Schiavon, M. & Rollet, L. (eds.). Nancy, p. 175-194 20 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewChapter

Review of John Drendel (ed.), Crisis in the Later Middle Ages: Beyond the Postan-Duby paradigm

Davids, K. 2017 In : Speculum. 92 , 3, p. 811-813

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review