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Conceptual History in the European Space

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Volume 1

European Conceptual History

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Conceptual History in the European Space

Edited by Willibald Steinmetz, Michael Freeden, and Javier Fernández-Sebastián

320 pages, 3 figures, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-482-5 $149.00/£110.00 Hb Published (June 2017)

ISBN  978-1-78920-494-0 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (October 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78533-483-2 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®


“It seems, judging by the arguments, strategies, and agenda presented in this book, that we will see a most welcome new wave of theoretical debate within and about conceptual history, which will continue to bring invaluable debates and previously unthematized phenomena into our attention.” • Contributions to the History of Concepts

“This volume should be celebrated as a precious space for innovation, at a time when new methodological perspectives tend to be placed under intense scrutiny by mainstream historical scholarship. It can therefore be recommended to all readers interested in current trends and developments within historical methodology.” • J@rgonia

“Taken together, these essays represent a landmark in conceptual history's theoretical and methodological development. They are a testament to its practitioners' creative and fruitful engagement with methods and approaches forged beyond the field of intellectual history. By adding layers of depth to our understanding of both concepts and the semantic fields in which they have operated, their authors go some way towards establishing a post-Koselleckian research agenda that can allow conceptual history to flourish as it expands its own horizons of possibility.” • Sehepunkte


The result of extensive collaboration among leading scholars from across Europe, Conceptual History in the European Space represents a landmark intervention in the historiography of concepts. It brings together ambitious thematic studies that combine the pioneering methods of historian Reinhart Koselleck with contemporary insights and debates, each one illuminating a key feature of the European conceptual landscape. With clarifying overviews of such contested theoretical terrain as translatability, spatiality, and center-periphery dynamics, it also provides indispensable contextualization for an era of widespread disenchantment with and misunderstanding of the European project.

Willibald Steinmetz is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Bielefeld University. He has published widely on conceptual history and is co-editor of the book series Historische Semantik with Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Among his publications are the edited volumes “Politik”: Situationen eines Wortgebrauchs im Europa der Neuzeit (2007), Political Languages in the Age of Extremes (2011) and Historische Semantik des Politischen: Vom Mittelalter bis ins 20. Jahrhundert, with Ulrich Meier and Martin Papenheim (2012).

Michael Freeden is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford and Professorial Research Associate, SOAS, University of London. His main interests are the nature of political thinking, the analysis of ideologies, and the study of liberal thought from the 19th century onwards. His books include Ideologies and Political Theory: A Conceptual Approach (1996), Liberal Languages (2005), The Political Theory of Political Thinking: The Anatomy of a Practice (2013) and Liberalism: A Very Short Introduction (2015). He is the founding editor of the Journal of Political Ideologies.

Javier Fernández-Sebastián is Professor of History of Political Thought at the University of the Basque Country. He has published extensively on modern intellectual and conceptual history, with a particular focus on Spain and the Iberian world. He serves on the editorial board of various journals as well as the series International Archives of the History of Ideas with Springer Verlag. He has recently edited the volumes Political Concepts and Time: New Approaches to Conceptual History (2011) and La Aurora de la Libertad. Los primeros liberalismos en el mundo iberoamerican (2012).

Subject: History (General)
Area: Europe


List of Figures

Introduction: Conceptual History: Challenges, Conundrums, Complexities
Willibald Steinmetz and Michael Freeden

Chapter 1. Europe at Different Speeds: Asynchronicities and Multiple Times in European Conceptual History
Helge Jordheim

Chapter 2. Multiple Transformations: Temporal Frameworks for a European Conceptual History
Willibald Steinmetz

Chapter 3. Concepts and Debates: Rhetorical Perspectives on Conceptual Change
Kari Palonen

Chapter 4. Conceptual History, Ideology and Language
Michael Freeden

Chapter 5. Transnational Conceptual History, Methodological Nationalism and Europe
Jani Marjanen

Chapter 6. Conceptual History: The Comparative Dimension
Jörn Leonhard

Chapter 7. Concepts, Contests and Contexts: Conceptual History and the Problem of Translatability
László Kontler

Chapter 8. Conceptualizing Spaces within Europe: The Case of Meso-Regions
Diana Mishkova and Balázs Trencsényi

Chapter 9. Conceptualizing Modernity in Multi- and Intercultural Spaces: The Case of Central and Eastern Europe
Victor Neumann

Chapter 10. Concepts in a Nordic Periphery
Henrik Stenius

Conclusions: Setting the Agenda for a European Conceptual History
Javier Fernández-Sebastián


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