Sophus A. Reinert

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Sophus Reinert is an assistant professor of business administration in the Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit, where he teaches the course of the same name in the MBA required curriculum. Before joining HBS, he was a research fellow and an affiliated lecturer in history at Gonville & Caius College at the University of Cambridge (UK).

Professor Reinert studies the history of capitalism and political economy since the Renaissance, focusing particularly on the historical role played by governments in both economic development and decline. He is the author of Translating Empire: Emulation and the Origins of Political Economy, published by Harvard University Press in 2011 and winner of the 2012 Spengler Prize, the 2012 EAEPE-Myrdal Prize, as well as the 2012 George L. Mosse Prize of the American Historical Association. He edited and wrote the introduction to A “Short Treatise” on the Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1613), by Antonio Serra (London and New Delhi: Anthem); and he is the series editor of Economic Ideas that Built Europe, also with Anthem.

Professor Reinert earned his Ph.D. in history at the University for Cambridge, together with an M.Phil. in political thought and intellectual history. As an undergraduate, he studied history at Cornell University. He has been a Carl Schurz Fellow at the Krupp Chair in Public Finance and Fiscal Sociology at the University of Erfurt, Germany, and a fellow of the Einaudi Foundation in Turin, Italy.

Books

  1. The Political Economy of Empire in the Early Modern World

    This volume recasts our understanding of the practical and theoretical foundations and dynamic experiences of early modern imperialism. The imperial encounter with political economy was neither uniform across political, economic, cultural, and religious constellations nor static across time. The contributions collected in this volume address, with undeniable pertinence for the struggles of later periods, the moral and military ambiguity of profits and power, as well as the often-jealous interactions between different solutions to the problem of empire. The book presents a powerful mosaic of imperial theories and practices contributing to the creation of the modern world and to the most pressing concerns of our time.

    Keywords: political economy; early modern imperialism; Economy; Government and Politics;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. and Pernille Røge, eds. The Political Economy of Empire in the Early Modern World. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. View Details
  2. Translating Empire: Emulation and the Origins of Political Economy

    Keywords: Government and Politics; Economic History;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. Translating Empire: Emulation and the Origins of Political Economy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011. (Received the 2012 Joseph J. Spengler Prize for the best book in the history of economics.) View Details
  3. Antonia Serra, A Short Treatise on the Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1613)

    Keywords: Wealth; Poverty;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A., ed. Antonia Serra, A Short Treatise on the Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1613). Anthem Press, 2011. (Translated by Jonathan Hunt.) View Details

Journal Articles

  1. Lessons on the Rise and Fall of Great Powers: Conquest, Commerce, and Decline in Enlightenment Italy

    Keywords: Learning; Society; Italy;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Lessons on the Rise and Fall of Great Powers: Conquest, Commerce, and Decline in Enlightenment Italy." American Historical Review 115, no. 5 (2010): 1395–1425. View Details
  2. International Trade and National Security in Historical Perspective

    Keywords: Trade; National Security; Perspective;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "International Trade and National Security in Historical Perspective." On Track 15, no. 2 (2010): 12–15. View Details
  3. 'One will make of Political Economy...what the Scholastics did with Philosophy': Henry Lloyd and the Mathematization of Economics

    Keywords: Government and Politics; Economy; Economics;

  4. Blaming the Medici: Footnotes, Falsification, and the Fate of the English Model in Eighteenth-Century Italy

    Keywords: Government and Politics; History; Italy;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Blaming the Medici: Footnotes, Falsification, and the Fate of the English Model in Eighteenth-Century Italy." History of European Ideas 32, no. 4 (2006): 430–455. View Details
  5. In margine a un bilancio sui lumi europei." A review of The Case for the Enlightenment: Scotland and Naples 1680-1760 by John Robertson

    Keywords: Society; Information; History; Scotland; Italy;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. In margine a un bilancio sui lumi europei." A review of The Case for the Enlightenment: Scotland and Naples 1680-1760 by John Robertson." Rivista storica italiana CXVIII (2006): 975–986. View Details
  6. Cameralism and Commercial Rivalry: Nationbuilding through Economic Autarky in Seckendorff's 1665 Additiones

    Keywords: Economics; History;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Cameralism and Commercial Rivalry: Nationbuilding through Economic Autarky in Seckendorff's 1665 Additiones." European Journal of Law and Economics 19, no. 3 (2005): 271–286. View Details
  7. Iconoclastic Eugenics: Thorstein Veblen on Racial Diversity and Cultural Nomadism

    Keywords: Genetics; Diversity Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Iconoclastic Eugenics: Thorstein Veblen on Racial Diversity and Cultural Nomadism." International Review of Sociology 14, no. 3 (2004): 513–534. View Details
  8. An Early National Innovation System: the Case of Anonio Serra's 1613 Breve Trattato

    Keywords: Innovation and Invention; History; System;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A., and Erik S. Reinert. "An Early National Innovation System: the Case of Anonio Serra's 1613 Breve Trattato." Istituzioni e sviluppo economico 1, no. 3 (2003): 87–119. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. The Empire of Emulation: A Quantitative Analysis of Economic Translations in the European World, 1500–1849

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "The Empire of Emulation: A Quantitative Analysis of Economic Translations in the European World, 1500–1849." In The Political Economy of Empire in the Early Modern World, edited by Sophus A. Reinert and Pernille Røge, 105–128. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. View Details
  2. Rivalry: Greatness in Early Modern Political Economy

    Keywords: political economy; mercantilism; early modern Britain;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Rivalry: Greatness in Early Modern Political Economy." In Mercantilism Reimagined: Political Economy in Early Modern Britain and Its Empire, edited by Philip J. Stern and Carl Wennerlind, 348–370. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. View Details
  3. Another Grand Tour: Cameralism and Antiphysiocracy in Tuscany, Baden, and Denmark-Norway

    Keywords: History; Economic Systems; Italy; Germany; Norway; Denmark;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Another Grand Tour: Cameralism and Antiphysiocracy in Tuscany, Baden, and Denmark-Norway." In Physiocrats, Antiphysiocracy and Pfeiffer, edited by Jurgen Backhaus, 39–69. Springer, 2011. View Details
  4. Darwin and the Body Politic: A Note on Schaffle, Veblen, and the Shift of Biological Metaphor in Economics

    Keywords: History; Economics; Society;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Darwin and the Body Politic: A Note on Schaffle, Veblen, and the Shift of Biological Metaphor in Economics." In Albert Schaffle (1821-1903):The Legacy of an Underestimated Economist, edited by Jurgen Backhaus, 129–152. Haag + Herchen, 2010. View Details
  5. The Sultan's Republic: Jealousy of Trade and Oriental Despotism in Paolo Mattia Doria

    Keywords: History; Trade; Government and Politics;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "The Sultan's Republic: Jealousy of Trade and Oriental Despotism in Paolo Mattia Doria." In Enlightened Reform in Southern Europe and its Atlantic Colonies, edited by Gabriel Paquette, 253–269. Ashgate Publishing, 2009. View Details
  6. Traduzione edemulazione: La genealogia occulta della Storia del Commercio

    Keywords: Business History;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Traduzione edemulazione: La genealogia occulta della Storia del Commercio." In Genovesi Economista, edited by Bruno Jossa, Rosario Patalano, and Eugenio Zagari, 155–192. Naples: Istituto italiano per gli studi filosofici, 2007. View Details
  7. An 'All too Human' Question: Nietzsche, Die Soziale Frage, and the German Historical School of Economics

    Keywords: History; Economics; Social Issues; Germany;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A., and Erik S. Reinert. "An 'All too Human' Question: Nietzsche, Die Soziale Frage, and the German Historical School of Economics." In Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900): Economy and Society, edited by Jurgen Backhaus and Wolfgang Drechsler, 111–135. Springer, 2006. View Details
  8. The Italian Tradition of Political Economy: Theories and Policies of Development in the Semi-Periphery of the Enlightenment

    Keywords: History; Development Economics; Italy;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "The Italian Tradition of Political Economy: Theories and Policies of Development in the Semi-Periphery of the Enlightenment." In The Origins of Development Economics: How Schools of Economic Thought Have Addressed Development, edited by Jomo K. Sundaram and Erik S. Reinert, 24–47. Zed Books, 2005. View Details
  9. Mercantilism and Economic Development: Schumpeterian Dynamics, Institution Building and International Benchmarking

    Keywords: Development Economics; Economic Systems; Policy; Government and Politics; Measurement and Metrics; Globalization;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A., and Erik S. Reinert. "Mercantilism and Economic Development: Schumpeterian Dynamics, Institution Building and International Benchmarking." In The Origins of Development Economics: How Schools of Economic Thought Have Addressed Development, edited by Jomo K. Sundaram and Erik S. Reinert, 1–23. Zed Books, 2005. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Norway: The Embarrassment of Riches

    Keywords: sovereign wealth funds; welfare state; natural resources; internationalization; Norway;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Norway: The Embarrassment of Riches." Harvard Business School Case 713-061, April 2013. (Revised April 2014.) View Details