Essay History

The Invention of Globalisation
An Interview with Patrick Boucheron

by Nicolas Delalande , 25 July 2013
translated by Kate McNaughton
with the support of Florence Gould Foundation

It was throughout the 15th century that most of the different regions of the world became connected to each other. Rather than recount this history from the perspective of a triumphant Europe, a collective work, edited by Patrick Boucheron in 2010, suggests that we shift our point of view by following the traces of other possible globalisations.

Patrick Boucheron is a lecturer in medieval history at the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. As a specialist of the urban and artistic cultures of Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries, he edited in 2010, together with Julien Loiseau, Pierre Monnet and Yann Potin, a book entitled Histoire du monde au XVe siècle (A History of the World in the 15th Century) (Fayard, 2009). Nearly seventy historians took part in this collective adventure, which offers an ambitious journey through the places and times of globalisation in the 15th century, from the death of Tamberlain in 1405 to the crowing of Charles V in 1520. This work is inspired in particular by the findings of world history and of connected history.
The following interview was conducted in 2010 and is now published in Books&Ideas with English subtitles.
Video 1: Can we talk about “globalisation” in the 15th century?
Video 2: What parts of the world were driving this globalisation?
Video 3: Was this globalisation European?
Video 4: Were people in the 15th century aware of this globalisation?
Video 5: Was this globalisation mainly economic?
Video 6: Did Europe explore the world to overcome its weaknesses?
Video 7: Did 15th century globalisation entrench particularisms?

by Nicolas Delalande, 25 July 2013

To quote this article :

Nicolas Delalande, « The Invention of Globalisation. An Interview with Patrick Boucheron », Books and Ideas , 25 July 2013. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL :

Nota Bene:

If you want to discuss this essay further, you can send a proposal to the editorial team (redaction at We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our partners

© - Any replication forbidden without the explicit consent of the editors. - Mentions légales - webdesign : Abel Poucet