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Comparative and Transnational History: Central European Approaches and New Perspectives

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Comparative and Transnational History

Central European Approaches and New Perspectives

Edited by Heinz-Gerhard Haupt and Jürgen Kocka

312 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-615-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 2010)

ISBN  978-0-85745-603-8 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (January 2012)

eISBN 978-1-84545-803-4 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


The volume makes available to English readers an important ongoing discussion centred in Germany but having clear connections with international developments in historiography.”  ·  European History Quarterly

The essay offers an excellent and nuanced discussion of comparative history’s fundamental assumptions and approaches, its strengths and weaknesses, its possibilities and limits…Scholars or students looking to refresh their understanding of the methods and challenges of comparative history and to learn how German historians discuss transnational approaches will find much to appreciate in this collection, which is particularly well suited to the needs of graduate seminars. If this book helps end the overblown and sometimes petty arguments over which method will reign supreme and helps us take advantage of the obvious benefits of each approach, Haupt and Kocka will have done us a great service.  ·  Canadian Journal of History/Annalees canadiennes d’histoire


Since the 1970s West German historiography has been one of the main arenas of international comparative history. It has produced important empirical studies particularly in social history as well as methodological and theoretical reflections on comparative history. During the last twenty years however, this approach has felt pressure from two sources: cultural historical approaches, which stress microhistory and the construction of cultural transfer on the one hand, global history and transnational approaches with emphasis on connected history on the other. This volume introduces the reader to some of the major methodological debates and to recent empirical research of German historians, who do comparative and transnational work.

Heinz-Gerhard Haupt is currently Professor of European History at the European University Institute. Previously, he was at the Universities of Bremen (1974–93), Halle (1993–98), and Bielefeld (1998–2004). He has been a Visiting Professor at the École des Hautes Études, Paris, University of Lyon II, and Columbia University and a Fellow at Princeton University. His publications in English include The Petite Bourgeoisie in Europe 1780–1914: Enterprise, Family and Independence (with G.Crossick, Routledge, 1995) and Europe in 1848: Revolution and Reform (edited with D. Dowe, D. Langewiesche, J. Sperber, 2001).

Jürgen Kocka is currently Professor for the History of the Industrial World at the Free University of Berlin, Research Professor at the Social Science Research Center Berlin and, regularly, a Visiting Professor at the University of California Los Angeles. Between 1973 and 1988 he taught in the University of Bielefeld. He has published widely in the field of modern history of Europe. His publications in the English language include Facing Total War. German Society 1914-1918 (Berg, 1984) and Industrial Culture and Bourgeois Society. Business, Labor, and Bureaucracy in Modern Germany (Berghahn, 1999).

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Europe Germany



Introduction: Comparison and beyond: Traditions, scope and perspective of comparative history
Jürgen Kocka and Heinz-Gerhard Haupt


Chapter 1. The debate between comparison and transfers - and what now?
Hartmut Kaelble

Chapter 2. A ‘Transnational’ History of Society: Continuity or New Departure
Jürgen Osterhammel

Chapter 3. Double Marginalization: A plea for a transnational perspective on German history
Sebastian Conrad

Chapter 4. Entangled histories of uneven modernities: Civil society, caste councils and legal pluralism in postcolonial India
Shalini Randeria

Chapter 5. Lost in translation? Transcending boundaries in comparative history
M. Juneja and M. Pernau


Chapter 6. The Nation as a Developing Resource Community: A Generalizing Comparison
Dieter Langewiesche

Chapter 7. Birds of a Feather: A Comparative History of German and U.S. Labour in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Thomas Welskopp

Chapter 8. Common challenges, common solutions? Visions of the future during the 1960s. GDR, CSSR and the Federal Republic of Germany in comparative perspective
Jörg Requate

Chapter 9. Comparisons, Cultural Transfers and the Study of Networks: Towards a Transnational History of Europe
Philipp Ther

Chapter 10. Germany and Africa in the Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: An Entangled History?
Andreas Eckert

Chapter 11. Losing National Identity or Gaining Transcultural Competence: Changing Approaches in Migration History
Dirk Hoerder

Notes on Contributors
Selected Bibliography

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