Competing Corporations, Brokering Rules: Marine Insurance in France and Belgium (1815-1860)

Project Details


The project aims at assessing competing marine insurance corporations in regard of the crafting and formulation of standardized terms of contract. It focuses on Belgium and France in the nineteenth century until around 1860. The novelty of the project lies in its actor-orientated approach and in its empirical focus on competition as underpinning legal convergence. For the nineteenth century, legal history of commerce in the mentioned states is sketchy and still largely orientated towards government action and legal professionals. Companies are usually not considered for their contributions in the legal domain.

However, marine insurance corporations, which were competing with each another and which drew up standard contracts for their clients, also jointly drew up forms containing standard terms that were applied by all companies within one city or port. This happened without the intervention of governments and regulatory agencies, and without the authority of associations of professionals imposing standards. The proposed research will test how and why actions of competing corporations could be sufficient for establishing convergence in standard terms.
Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/19


  • Marine insurance

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Human rights law


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.