The Alps are known for their stunning natural beauty but, in this talk, we will explore its rich history. The Alps have played a vital role in the history of Europe, as both crossroads and as barrier. From Ötzi the Iceman, to Hannibal’s battles, to the rise and fall of the Carolingians, to the constant shifts in political alliances throughout the Medieval and Early Modern period, into the consolidation of Europe today, the Alps have served as a formidable physical barrier and as a crossroad and meeting point. Next summer, Penn Alumni Travel will embark on a journey through the Alps with Professor Phil Nichols. This discussion will provide an interesting historical background for that journey or for anyone who has ever admired the beauty of this mountain range.
Philip M. Nichols is the Joseph Kolodny Professor of Social Responsibility in Business and Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at Penn’s Wharton School. Professor Nichols’ research and teaching focus on the profound changes that are occurring in emerging economies. He has conducted fieldwork in numerous countries in Asia, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union on topics such as attitudes toward the rule of law, privatization, trust in institutions, and interactions with corruption. He has also been a visiting professor at Singapore Management University, the National University of Mongolia, Korea University, and the India School of Business. Professor Nichols worked for a time after college in a resort in the Alps, and more recently chaired a United Nations experts committee based in Geneva.