Welcome to the international and interdisciplinary project on « The lighthouse as a public good – Theory, history and policy »

This project focuses on the modes of providing lighthouse services in history, in relation with their nature as public goods.

Several levels of analyses will be developed:

  • comparisons between the different systems of lighthouses provision at different times and places;
  • analysis of the nature of the contracts when private parties were involved (concessions, delegations, etc.);
  • study of the global market of lighthouses (towers and lights) in the 19th century;
  • inquiry on the imposition of norms and standards;
  • contribution to the history of economic and political thought and ideas.

This is an interdisciplinary project, which mainly unites economics, history  and law.

The countries concerned by the research are: China, England and Wales, Estonia, France (and New Caledonia), Sweden and the Mediterranean world. We are looking to extend the project to other countries, such as Turkey, Scotland, Spain, Norway, United States, and others from South America.

Our research mainly focuses on modern lighthouses (from the 17th century), but will also investigate the provision of lighthouse services in the Antiquity and Middle Ages.

For more details, please click here.