Author of The European Miracle (1981), whose title has become a buzzword in academic circles, and Growth Recurring (1988). One of the academics looking for mechanistic (social, political, economic) reasons to the rise of the West.
Eric Jones was born on 21 September 1936 in England. He spent his childhood in Andover, Hampshire (30km from Stonehenge). From 1970 to 1975, he was professor of economics at Northwestern University, near Chicago, Illinois. He then moved to Australia where, from 1975 to 1994, he was professor of economics and economics history at La Trobe University, in Melbourne. Over his career, Jones had visiting appointments at Yale, Manchester, Princeton, University of Berlin and the Center for Economic Studies at Munich.
Eric Jones is now Emeritus Professor of Economic Systems and Ideas at La Trobe University, half-time Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Business School, and part-time Professor of Economics at the University of Reading (England). He also serves as a consultant for Australian companies and government.
Works related to the Grand Question:
(1) 1981: The European Miracle: Environments, Economies and Geopolitics in the History of Europe and Asia, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
(2) 1988: Growth Recurring: Economic Change in World History,
Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Eric Jones has not a very conspicuous presence on the web. Maybe Altavista gets confused with so many "Eric Jones" to screen... Sightseeers might at least visit
Eric Jones' homepage at Melbourne Business School. A short review of The European Miracle
and Growth Recurring, by J. Bentley. A
longer review about The European Miracle, by S. Brown.
My subjective view of Eric Jones's contribution to the Grand Issue
In The European Miracle, Eric Jones led the reader through the maze
of possible views and counterviews of the Grand Issue, focussing on
"externalist" explanations (as opposed to "internalist" exlanations like religion,
culture, genetics), but without plumping for a particular theory.
Among the possible hypotheses, he mentioned key elements of what I call
the rich states system theory and the coastline hypothesis. As a pro-free-trade and anti-statist economist, he emphasized the gradual taming of governments in Western Europe as pivotal cause to the rise of the West.
In Growth Recurring, Eric Jones went a step further towards pointing out the states system as the decisive factor in the development of Western Europe and Japan into free and entrepreneurial societies. However, he lost sight of the coastline factor.