Why Europe, Which Europe?

A Debate on Contemporary European History as a Field of Research

European History is a vibrant field of research. Conferences, monographs, collected volumes and articles within the field attest to that fact. Cooperations between scholars from various parts of Europe – and beyond – are growing in number. But this is only one way of describing the present. Two challenges can be diagnosed: First, national borders continue to shape historiographical debates, methods and trends. Collected volumes still tend to juxtapose individual chapters on national examples. Transnational and comparative studies that integrate historiographies remain limited in number. Book markets as well as academic job markets transcend national borders only to a limited degree. We posit that interweaving European Historiographies is a challenge for the future. Second, global history has become a powerful competitor for public and scholarly attention. The surge of interest in global history and related calls to “provincialize” Europe seem to put the project of writing European history on the defensive. We welcome global history’s necessary rise as a stimulus to discuss the choice of space and scale in historiographical enquiry.Between national spaces of historical enquiry on the one and global history on the other side: what are European history’s contributions to understanding the past – and the present? What, if any, are its methodological and heuristic characteristics? In which ways has the field developed within the last decade in research institutions all over Europe – and where do we want it to head within the near future? These questions, surprisingly, have never been discussed in a truly European perspective, between historians from all parts of Europe, and only to a limited extend beyond its borders. It is our aim to kick off such a debate.

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Informations bibliographiques

Rédacteur(s) en chef

Sonja Levsen

Année de création


Date de mise en ligne

26 mars 2020

Langue de la publication





Adresse postale

Why Europe, Which Europe?
Max Weber Stiftung
Rheinallee 4-6
52173 Bonn

Ville de production