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Stanisław Filipowicz

It is often repeated that we live today in a ‹post-truth› world. But this problem has a long history. Greek philosophers investigated the origins of truth (and the will to truth) in hope to separate truth from illusion. But already Machiavelli equated the concept of truth with the notion of what seems to be true. And today? Perhaps, we are paying the price of naivety. In this book, the author approaches the idea of deliberative democracy with reservation, attempting to expose the vain hopes rooted in the Enlightenment tradition, which placed the desire for truth at the fore, and relegated the desire for illusion to the shadows. The book encourages reflection on the appeal of deception in a world which has become the media’s ‹grazing ground›; a world which rejects metaphysics in favour of pragmatic theories, thereby transforming politics into a sphere where truth is replaced with ‹narrative›.

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Edited by Christian Scholl, Torben R. Gebhardt and Jan Clauß

During the Middle Ages, rulers from different regions aspired to an idea of imperial hegemony. On the other hand, there were rulers who deliberately refused to be «emperors», although their reign showed characteristics of imperial rule. The contributions in this volume ask for the reasons why some rulers such as Charlemagne strove for imperial titles, whereas others voluntarily shrank from them. They also look at the characteristics of and rituals connected to imperial rule as well as to the way Medieval empires saw themselves. Thus, the authors in this volume adopt a transcultural perspective, covering Western, Eastern, Northern and Southern Europe, Byzantium and the Middle East. Furthermore, they go beyond the borders of Christianity by including various caliphates and Islamic «hegemonic» rulers like Saladin.

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Edited by Machteld Venken

This book provides a comparative analysis of the history of borderland children during the 20th century. More than their parents, children were envisioned to play a crucial role in bringing about a peaceful Europe. The contributions show the complexity of nationalisation within various spheres of borderland children’s lives and display the dichotomy between nationalist policies and manifest non-national practices of borderland children. Despite the different imaginations of East and West that had influenced peace negotiators after both World Wars, moreover, borderland children in Western and Central Europe invented practices that contributed to the creation of a socially cohesive Europe.

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Edited by Anna Sroka, Fanny Castro-Rial Garrone and Rubén Darío Torres Kumbrián

This book addresses the issues of radicalism and terrorism, which are of exceptional importance and relevance in contemporary society. Each of the two phenomena are analyzed from a multidisciplinary perspective. The book contains articles which explore legal, political, psychological, economic and social aspects of radicalism and terrorism. A portion of the contributions are of a theoretical nature, they constitute an attempt at constructing analytical frameworks for studies on the two phenomena. There are also studies of particular cases, such as radicalism in Poland and in Spain, as well as within the European Union as a whole. This collective work is a response to the need for analyses of two issues which are increasingly responsible for determining the level of security which characterizes the contemporary world.

Open access

Institutions of Hanseatic Trade

Studies on the Political Economy of a Medieval Network Organisation

Ulf Christian Ewert and Stephan Selzer

The merchants of the medieval Hanse monopolised trade in the Baltic and North Sea areas. The authors describe the structure of their trade system in terms of network organisation and attempts to explain, on the grounds of institutional economics, the coordination of the merchants’ commercial exchange by reputation, trust and culture. The institutional economics approach also allows for a comprehensive analysis of coordination problems arising between merchants, towns and the ‘Kontore’. Due to the simplicity and flexibility of network trade the Hansards could bridge the huge gap in economic development between the West and the East. In the changing economic conditions around 1500, however, exactly these characteristics proved to be a serious limit to further retain their trade monopoly.

 

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Le groupe Empain en France

Une saga industrielle et familiale

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Caroline Suzor

Le Belge Édouard Empain obtient en 1898 la concession du Métro de Paris, qu’il construit et exploite. Pour alimenter son Métro en énergie, Empain devient producteur d’électricité et fonde la Société d’électricité de Paris. Déjà présent en France depuis les années 1880, le groupe Empain ne cesse dès lors plus de croître dans ce pays. Fleurons d’un empire industriel de dimension mondiale, ses entreprises comptent parmi les plus importantes du paysage économique français.

La croissance du groupe Empain en France relève d’une saga à la fois industrielle et familiale. Trois générations se succèdent : un grand industriel européen, visionnaire et innovateur ; son frère ; ses fils. Des personnages hauts en couleur, très différents, reliés pour le meilleur et pour le pire par le sang et l’argent.

Cette histoire, dévoilée de l’intérieur et jusqu’alors mal connue, a été enfouie dans la mémoire nationale sous les décombres de la Troisième République et éclipsée après Seconde Guerre mondiale par la nationalisation de l’électricité et la municipalisation du Métro.

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Michal Reiman

The author analyzes modern Russian history from a new perspective. Due to the ideological heritage of the XIXth and XXth centuries, the social settings of the sociopolitical history of the USSR (1917–1945) have not been fully identified. Detailed examination of ideological and political concepts shows that the revolution of 1917 became not a middle class, proletarian movement, but rather a plebeian one. The misjudgment by the new power enabled growth but caused tremendous losses of human lives and material damages. Socialization of economy and strict centralization led to a new social structure and established terror as an instrument for social reorganization. WWII revealed the necessity of a correction of these developments, but the events of the Cold War circumvented any further considerations.

Open access

Dissent! Refracted

Histories, Aesthetics and Cultures of Dissent

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Edited by Ben Dorfman

This collection of essays addresses the ongoing problem of dissent from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives: political philosophy, intellectual history, literary studies, aesthetics, architectural history and conceptualizations of the political past. Taking a global perspective, the volume examines the history of dissent both inside and outside the West, through events in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries both nearer to our own times as well as more distant, and through a range of styles reflecting how contested and pressing the problem of dissent in fact is. Drawing on a range of authors and international problematics, the contributions discuss the multiple ways in which we refract memories of dissent in cultural, historical and aesthetic context. It also discusses the diverse ideas, images and phenomena we use to do so.
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Die Protokollbücher des Ordens vom Goldenen Vlies

Teil 4: Der Übergang an das Haus Habsburg (1477 bis 1480)

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Edited by Sonja Dünnebeil

Das 4. Protokollbuch des Ordens vom Goldenen Vlies berichtet in französischer Sprache über die Aktivitäten des Ordens zwischen 1477 und 1480. Höhepunkt dabei ist das prachtvolle Fest in Brügge im Frühjahr 1478: Hier wurde der neue Herzog von Burgund, der Habsburger Maximilian I., zum neuen Souverän eingesetzt, womit der Beginn einer neuen Ära im krisengeschüttelten Burgund symbolisiert werden sollte. Mit den präzisen Angaben über Ort der Versammlungen, Teilnehmer, Tagesordnungspunkte, Beschlüsse, Neuwahlen und Zeremonien bietet die Edition der Protokolle nicht nur eine bisher unbeachtete Quelle zur Ordensgeschichte, sondern eröffnet auch einen interessanten Blick auf die kritische Zeit Burgunds, denn sie berichtet auch von Identität, Sozialkontrolle sowie von Treue und Verrat.
Open access

Veterans, Victims, and Memory

The Politics of the Second World War in Communist Poland

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Joanna Wawrzyniak

In the vast literature on how the Second World War has been remembered in Europe, research into what happened in communist Poland, a country most affected by the war, is surprisingly scarce. The long gestation of Polish narratives of heroism and sacrifice, explored in this book, might help to understand why the country still finds itself in a «mnemonic standoff» with Western Europe, which tends to favour imagining the war in a civil, post-Holocaust, human rights-oriented way. The specific focus of this book is the organized movement of war veterans and former prisoners of Nazi camps from the 1940s until the end of the 1960s, when the core narratives of war became well established.