SCOOP also collects and organizes data that can support the historical analysis of long-run societal developments. A comparative analysis on historical data allows us to investigate the causal drivers of change. Because time series are extensive and cover long periods, and because it is increasingly possible to compare different development trajectories, causes and consequences of particular changes can be studied at the societal level. The integration of a long-term historical perspective makes SCOOP unique within the landscape of studies of sustainable cooperation. Our consortium has expertise on a number of highly relevant historical data sources on different aggregation levels.
At the level of populations, long-term trends in society are increasingly studied with the aid of new forms of standardization, such as those that have been developed by the Common Lab Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (CLARIAH), the NWO-funded research infrastructure project led by Van Zanden and others (including the CLIO-INFRA project on global inequality). These projects will provide macro-indicators for inter alia economic growth and demographic trends from the middle ages onwards.
At the level of groups, SCOOP can rely on available datasets on e.g., the emergence and development of specific types of institutions for collective action such as commons, guilds, and cooperatives since the late medieval period for several European countries. This data will be used to follow the evolutions of institutions designed for cooperation across Europe. In addition, De Moor and colleagues from Spain and the UK, have developed a detailed reconstruction of the regulation of more than 30 commons since 1400, which allows us to study continuous adaptation of regulation. At the level of individuals, the project can build on datasets constructed for De Moor’s ERC and VIDI project on demographic information on Northwestern Europe since the late 16th century and additional datasets available at the micro-level through other projects such as CLIO-Infra and data repositories such as DANS EASY.