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Abstracts 6 (2007), Nr. 2

English Abstracts

Hans-Jürgen Bömelburg: Research into the history of estates in Eastern Europe, in:
zeitenblicke 6 (2007), Nr. 2.

This article provides an overview of research trends concerning the estates in Eastern Europe: in institutional historical terms new editions of records allow a more accurate identification of the transition from the late-medieval estates to early modern representative constitutions. Prosopographic studies on the structure of the civil service and research on judiciary and administration culture provide interesting insights into the systems of estates. Recent studies on the relationship between the crown and the estates have concentrated on early modern financial politics, negotiation processes between crown and estates and communication structures. A further new aspect is the focus on the cultural history of justice.

Besides the traditional research of nobility in the last few years interest has turned to other social ranks, such as the clergy - to a much lesser extent the bourgeoisie and the burghs. The extension of the investigations of the theological-denominational and confederate mindset can be conducive to a "new intellectual history" of the East Central European participation.

In two closing remarks it is emphasised that the appraisal of continuity and discontinuity is very much dependent on the national historiography and that historical studies in Germany have a special role in a comparative and trans-national perspective.


Peter Haslinger:
Culture of remembrance and history politics in the historical research on Eastern Europe, in: zeitenblicke 6 (2007), Nr. 2.

In introducing an overview of literature on the culture of remembrance and history politics in East Central Europe it should be pointed out that such an access is seldom used by the East Central European historiography itself, although this would seem particularly manifest for East Central Europe after 1989. Dealing with the repressive side of the communist system is the first thing to fall into the category of the application of remembrance by political systems, and that combined with the question of guilt, which runs the risk of becoming a "political battle ground". Alongside this, the history of historiography and the instrumentalisation of a past bequeathed by the communist regime are also examined. As regards the second topic, the research of places of remembrance or, above all, their denationalisation, East Central European research is still very much in the early stages. Particularly in the case of former Yugoslavia the role of remembrance management has been focused on for the escalation of inter-ethnic conflicts. Unlike with the Shoah, the remembrance-cultural consequential effects of these conflicts are only seldom taken into consideration. Visualisation and materialisation of remembrance in the form of museums, memorials, festivals and monuments are also portrayed.


Laura Hölzlwimmer:
Emigration to and from Eastern Europe, in: zeitenblicke 6 (2007), Nr. 2.

Migration has greatly shaped the population development, politics and society in Eastern Europe. In light of this many-sided migration first a working definition is drawn up to explain the special feature 'Emigration' or 'Exil'. Appropriate to the large number of emigrations in the 19th and the 20th century there are many different approaches to the investigation of this trans-national phenomenon. In the sections two to five some of the various approaches in the German- and English-speaking recordings of Eastern European history are pinpointed and relevant works outlined. Finally the objects of investigation still outstanding and the unanswered question as to what extent the Eastern European history can expedite emigration research in general are examined.


Damien Tricoire:
A different kind of statehood: history of international politics and Eastern European history, in: zeitenblicke 6 (2007), Nr. 2.

This article deals with the presentation and theoretical reflection of individual approaches to the history of diplomacy in Eastern Europe. First, an overview of approaches in international relations and historical science is given, discussing the so-called 'realistic' approach of the classical historiography, its later more refined version, the rationalistic approach and constructivism. The second part presents approaches to the historical research of international politics in Eastern European history. Although the interest in international politics in this sub-discipline is relatively low it has made a contribution to fundamental questions of international politics due to the presence of dominions in this region: the construction of politics as regards cross-national interdependence, the long-term self-concept of state and the perception of a world or European order. In a third phase the case is made that the history of international politics cannot be equated to international history and that both a constructivist and a rationalist approach is required. Although these are based on various and sometimes contrary premises, they are compatible. Cultural-historical approaches and approaches to overcome a national fixation in historiography are subordinated to the rationalistic approach.


Joachim von Puttkamer:
Nationalism in East Central Europe - an interim report, in: zeitenblicke 6 (2007), Nr. 2.

The evident popularity of national paradigms in today's political culture in East Central Europe, and of course their relevance for the "nation-building processes" of the early 20th century calls for an intensive study of nationalism in this region. Based on the approaches to nationalism pursued by Hroch, Stourzh, Hobsbawn and Anderson, the last few years have brought forward many studies addressing the various cultural-historical and discourse aspects of nationalism. Representative for this, some recent studies on Poland, Hungary and Romania in the 19th and 20th will be discussed. On the one hand these deal with stereotypes interpretations of history, national narratives, celebrations and places. On the other hand the modernity of nationalism, its violence of causal dynamics and religious dimension is also questioned. Thus, paradoxically modern nationalism research is itself contributing to dismantling its object of investigation, the nation as a political organising principle.


Frithjof Benjamin Schenk:
The paradigm of space in the Eastern European history, in: zeitenblicke 6 (2007), Nr. 2.

This article presents fields of research and latest debates within Eastern European history which, in the widest sense, can be taken as indicators for a growing interest in spatial interrelations from an historical point of view. Works are taken into account which deal with the history of space discourses and the location of Eastern Europe and its sub-spaces on the corresponding 'mental maps', as well as research projects addressing practices in the history of cities, traffic, technology, communication and tourism, which contribute to the constitution and definition of social spaces. Particular attention is paid to modern works on Russian and Soviet history.


Martin Zückert:
War and military in Eastern European history research - questions, findings, desiderata, in: zeitenblicke 6 (2007), Nr. 2.

Since the 1990s there has been a growing preoccupation with the military and war in the history of Eastern Europe. On the one hand this has been caused by external influences: the end of the 'Cold War' meant that the role of the military within the state and society on a long term was put to question in a new light. As in the 1990s following the break-up of Yugoslavia, military conflicts in Europe became possible once again, a fact that according to wide-spread assessment also evoked the quest for backgrounds and parallels of war and experience of violence. On the other hand the extension of military history by approaches beyond the pure history of operations and organisations, combined with the access to archives available in the meantime, offered Eastern European history the possibility of opening up whole new areas of interest. Recent research into war, war experience and the social role of the military not only allows new perceptions of central issues of Eastern Europe history, but also represents a corrective of the general military-historical research, for instance also of both world wars.


Ricarda Vulpius: The empire as a theme of Russian history. Trends and perspectives of modern research, in:
zeitenblicke 6 (2007), Nr. 2.

For a long time history writing concentrated on of the history of the Centre or the national history of an ethnic group of the Russian Empire until Andreas Kappeler presented the first comprehensive view of the history of the peoples of the Russian Empire. The researchers at the journal "Ab Imperio", dedicated to the 'Novaja Imperskaja Istorija', have since been demanding a greater focus on not only ethnic categories, but also on super-national identities and pinpoint both vertical - from the centre to the periphery -, and horizontal structures between the peoples. The cultural-historical approach to imperial research spotlights the question how contemporaries themselves perceived this empire and its space in literature and historiography or in official documents. Until the 20th century the prevalent interpretation of the development of new areas as a continual extension of a Russian centralised state poses the question of differences between the rhetoric of empires and nation states, for which Osterhammel identified eight ideal characteristics; here they are applied to Russia. Finally the cognitive value of the comparative and history-dependent empire research is emphasised.


Matthias Braun:
The indulgence of dictatorship. Between "archival revolution" and "new cultural history": Modern literature on the Soviet Union before World War II, in: zeitenblicke 6 (2007), Nr. 2.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union the wide-ranging research into Stalinism has been shaped by two aspects. The "archival revolution" has made available far-reaching archive material that had been inaccessible to date. And as opposed to the representatives of the totalitarianism theory and its revisionists, the "new cultural history" has also found its way into this field of study, so that representations, the interpretation of meanings, discursive practices and negotiation processes have come to take centre stage. The object of study is the decision-makers and executives of the Stalinist terror, their networks, motivations and mindscape. The new archive material also enables an examination of the dictatorship within its spatial boundaries - in the village and on the periphery of the dominion - and to explore the limits of this enforceability in its internal boundaries. Ultimately it is the executive that makes up the dictatorship, whose often complex allegiances can be expressed in the assumption of the same power language or the location of their own biography in the entire Stalinist discourse.


Erstellt von: RedaktionZB
Zuletzt verändert: 2007-12-22 04:30 PM