Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 1, No 1 (2012)

Global History: Opportunities, Dangers, Recent Trends

Jürgen Kocka
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany


In contrast to national historical approaches, global history responds to the cultural and intellectual needs of communities, societies and cultures are increasingly interconnected. Global history is an appropriate way of looking to “our past”, in an era of accelerated globalization, helping to “de-provincialize” the discipline. For historians of Europe, global history approaches offer a useful ground for embedding, relativizing and enriching their views and perspectives, even when they continue to work as historians of Europe and do not contemplate to become global historians.
As many examples show, global history is emerging as a field in which new forms of cooperation between history and the neighbouring disciplines, particularly the social sciences, can be practiced in new ways. Global history revives the interest in comprehensive structures and large-scale processes; it enhances the analytical power of history as a discipline. It also raises several problems which are not yet resolved. Very different types of discourses and studies are usually lumped together under the heading of “global history”, four of them are here considered.


global history; historiography; historical research; new historical trends

Full Text:



Bayly, C.A. (2004) The Birth of the Modern World 1780–1914. Global Connections and Comparisons. Blackwell, Oxford.

Conrad, Sebastian (2006) Globalisierung und Nation im Deutschen Kaiserreich. Verlag C. H. Beck, München.

Conrad, Sebastian, Andreas Eckert and Ulrike Freitag (Hg.) (2007) Globalgeschichte Theorien, Ansä tze, Themen. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/New York.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh (2000) Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton University Press.

Frank, Andre Gunder (1998) ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Landes, David S. (1998) The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. W.W. Norton & Company, New York.

Linden, Marcel van der (2008) Workers of the World: Essays Towards a Global Labor History (Studies in Global Social History). Brill, Leiden/Boston.

McNeill, William (1963) The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community. University of Chicago Press.

Osterhammel, Jürgen (2009) Die Verwandlung der Welt. Eine Geschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Verlag C. H. Beck, München.

Pomeranz, Kenneth (2000) The Great Divergence: Europe, China, and the Making of the Modern World Economy. Princeton University Press.

Copyright (c) 2012 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Technical support: