The Rise of Comparative History

$125.00 / €116.00 / £105.00
Publication date: 
April 2021, 418 pages

This book—the first of a three-volume overview of comparative and transnational historiography in Europe—focuses on the complex engagement of various comparative methodological approaches with different transnational and supranational frameworks. It considers scales from universal history to meso-regional (i.e. Balkans, Central Europe, etc.) perspectives. In the form of a reader, it displays 18 historical studies written between 1900 and 1943. The collection starts with the French and German methodological discussions around the turn of the twentieth century, stemming from the effort to integrate history with other emerging social sciences on a comparative methodological basis. The volume then turns to the question of structural and institutional comparisons, revisiting various historiographical ventures that tried to sketch out a broader (regional or European-level) interpretative framework to assess the legal systems, patterns of agrarian production, and the common ethnographic and sociocultural features.

In the third part, a number of texts are presented, which put forward a supra-national research framework as an antidote to national exclusivism. While in Western Europe the most obvious such framework was pan-European, in East Central Europe the agenda of comparison was linked usually to a meso-regional framework.

The studies are accompanied by short contextual introductions including biographical information on the respective authors.

Introduction - Comparisons, Transfers, Entanglements: A View from East Central Europe
Part 1. Defining the Comparative Method
1. Kurt Breysig: Cultural History of the Modern Era
2. Louis Davillé: Comparison and the Comparative Method, with Particular Reference to History
3. Henri Pirenne: On the Comparative Method in History
4. Henri Sée: Historical Science and Philosophy of History
5. Marc Bloch: A Contribution towards a Comparative History of European Societies

Part 2. Structures and Institutions
6. Otto Hintze: The Preconditions of Representative Government in the Context of World History
7. Jovan Cvijić: The Balkan Peninsula
8. Nicolae Iorga: The Common Character of Southeast European Institutions
9. Jan Rutkowski: The Genesis of the Corvée System in Central Europe since the End of the Middle Ages
10. Gheorghe I. Brǎtianu: Serfdom of the Glebe and Fiscal Regime. A Romanian, Slavonic, and Byzantine Comparative Historical Essay
11. István Hajnal: On the Working Collective of Small Nations' Historiography

Part 3. Beyond the National Grand Narratives
12. Marceli Handelsman: The Development of Nationalities in Central-Eastern Europe
13. Oskar Halecki: What is Eastern Europe?
14. Charles Seignobos: Essay on a Comparative History of the Peoples of Europe
15. Milan Budimir and Petar Skok: Aim and Significance of Balkan Studies
16. David Mitrany: The Effect of the War in Southeastern Europe
17. Victor Papacostea: The Balkan Peninsula and the Problem of Comparative Studies
18. Fritz Valjavec: Southeast Europe and the Balkans

About the Editors