Edited By Lucia Bonfreschi, Giovanni Orsina and Antonio Varsori
Lucia BONFRESCHI, Giovanni ORSINA, and Antonio VARSORI
This book brings together three different traditions of historical study and is centred respectively on national politics, European integration, and political parties.
Since the 1980s – in the Italian and French cases1 – there has been much debate among “national” political historians concerning transnational/comparative history/histoire croisée. During the last decade this discussion has become quite lively in Anglo Saxon and German scholarship too.2
This debate intersects with that of a modified notion of politics: from politics to “the political”.3 This second notion is not only much wider, bringing within its scope phenomena that a more traditional idea of politics would exclude, but it also has a much stronger social and cultural dimension (linguistic turn, debate in the public sphere, Begriffsgeschichte, emphasis on communication,4 etc.). It is much more loosely connected with national political and institutional environments, and therefore is a better fit when it comes to discussing transnational/comparative history/histoire croisée.
This debate also tackles a more theoretical political history. Both the widening of the scope from politics to “the political” and the switch from national to transnational/comparative history/histoire croisée are pushing ← 19 | 20 → scholars to studying historical objects that are not already “out there”, but must – to a certain extent – be theoretically built up.
Both the enlargement of the scope of political history and its attempt to transcend national boundaries must be considered good news. To a certain...
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