Summer 2021


Great Britain is economically important for its history as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and home to some of the world’s most important economists, for its role in the present international economy, and it special relationship with both the US and EU. The seminar will explore all these aspects of Britain beginning in London and Brussels, then settling into a base in Cambridge for coursework and exploration of economically important sites in East Anglia and the British Midlands.

Learning Goals

  • To understand the history and central role of the British Industrial Revolution in changing the economic path of the modern world.
  • To develop an appreciation and understanding for the place that multinational organizations play in the modern economy.
  • To develop interdisciplinary insights into the economic, social and political life of modern Britain, particularly in light of Brexit.
  • To facilitate an appreciation for the modern economic history of Great Britain post-WWI as one of the leading economies and financial centers in the world.
  • To develop a broad appreciation for the work, thought and life of J.M. Keynes and his Bloomsbury contemporaries.
  • To develop and enhance skills related to living outside of the "academic bubble" including independence, financial management, navigating new environments, making personal connections, and career exploration.


Students who have completed Economics 110 and 111 by the end of spring term 2021 are eligible to participate in the seminar. Students majoring in economics, political science, and history are particularly encouraged to apply, but the seminar is open to students of all majors.

Course of Study

18 Credits

ECON 221: Contemporary British Economy (6 Credits)

The course focuses on the development of the British economy since the inter-war period. The approach integrates economic and historical analysis to discuss the development of the structure of the British economy, economic policy and the institutions affecting economic performance.

Instructor: Dr. Solomos Solomou, Fellow, Peterhouse College
Counts towards: Economics major, Political Economy minor, Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies

ECON 222: The Industrial Revolution in Britain (6 credits)

Economic growth only became an expected part of modern life during the Industrial Revolution. This course will explore the origins and implications of the Industrial Revolution in Britain.  Why did this revolution start in Britain?  How did it change life for British citizens, and how did the many changes move beyond Britain?  The course will use readings, lectures and visits to industrial sites and museums in and around Manchester.

Instructor: Michael Hemesath

Counts towards: Economics major, Political Economy minor, Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies

ECON 223: The Economics of Multinational Enterprises (3 credits)

Among the most important economic institutions in the world today are multinational enterprises. This course will explore the theory and practice of MNEs. Lectures and reading will be supplemented with visits to British multinationals.

Instructor: Michael Hemesath

Counts towards: Economics major, Political Economy minor, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies

ECON 224: J.M. Keynes and the Bloomsbury Group (3 credits)  S/CR/NC

Britain has nurtured some of the most important economists in the world and Cambridge was the intellectual home of the foremost of these, J.M. Keynes. This course will explore the economic theory and social thought of Keynes and influence of his contemporaries in the Bloomsbury group on post-WWI Britain.

Instructor: Michael Hemesath

Faculty Director

Michael Hemesath (Ph.D. Harvard University) has held teaching positions at Tufts University in Medford, MA and in Kyiv, Ukraine and Krasnodar, Russia.  He joined the faculty at Carleton in 1989, left tMichael Hemesatho serve as President of Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN from 2012-2019, and returned to Carleton in 2020. He is a strong supporter of international education and this will be his 8th Cambridge program.


During their time in Cambridge, students will stay at one of the colleges that make up Cambridge University. In Brussels and London they will stay in small hotels.


The group meets in London for several days to begin the program. From there we will travel to Brussels where we will tour various EU institutions, visit WWI battlefields, and take a day trip to Brugges. The group will spend a week in Manchester exploring Industrial Revolution sites. We will also visit a number of multinational enterprises in locations around the UK.


Program will take place mid-June to late-August. Specific dates will be communicated to program participants.


All Carleton-sponsored summer break programs cover the costs of instruction, lodging, some meals, group excursions, public transportation, medical and evacuation insurance, travel assistance, and most cultural events.

Students are responsible for passports and visas (when required), books and supplies, transportation to and from the program sites, and personal expenses during the program. Students will receive a program-specific Additional Cost Estimate at the time of acceptance.

Financial assistance is available. See the Off-Campus Studies website for further information on billing, financial aid, and scholarships.

Required Leave of Absence

The Cambridge Seminar functions as a Carleton term of the academic year. Participants are required to take a leave of absence during the following winter term 2022; juniors should consult with the program director to plan for Comps.

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Application Deadline:
January 25, 2021

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