ACTA POLONIAE HISTORICA
CALL FOR ARTICLES
HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY/ HISTORICAL-COMPARATIVE STUDIES
In recent years one may observe an expansion of historical-sociological research on Central-Eastern Europe. Scholars who do not necessarily consider themselves historical sociologists tackle the complex past phenomena that have shaped the present. Their work is often an explicit reaction to the previous popularity of such ideas as the supposed “end of history“ or the simplistic „democratic transition“ theories. Especially younger generations of social scientists turn to history in order to understand what has been happening in the region, focusing on the times of deep social change - the mid-19th c., the early 20th c. and the socialist period. Not only do they call attention to the role of history, but also emphasize the contexts and comparative perspectives: the diversity and similarities between societies, areas, as well as broader historical regions. What is still needed is the research that goes from multiple case studies to systematic historical-comparative research.
Comparative research is nothing new either in history or in sociology. It has been one of the core methods of the classical social and historical studies of the origins and nature of modern society. One of the founders of the modern comparative method was an heir of the German school of economic history, Max Weber. Competing with Karl Marx and Alexis de Tocqueville for a title of a founder of historical sociology as we know it today, he had such followers as Barrington Moore Jr. and his subsequent students, including Charles Tilly. The latter greatly contributed to the methodology of historical-comparative research. Among grand topics of comparative historical research are nationalism, capitalism, empires and the modern state, as were studied in East Central Europe by, accordingly, Józef Chlebowczyk, Miroslav Hroch, Marian Małowist, Witold Kula, Gheorge Bratianu, to mention just a few. Recently scholars reach for a variety of other promising theoretical approaches, including probably the most popular one, the Bourdieuan. Economic and intellectual globalization becomes both the research topic and inspiration, as it gives prominence to the analyses of global capitalism-cum-political power relations, and at the same time opens the intellectual field for influences from peripheries, such as post-colonial histories (and theories).
We believe that Acta Poloniae Historica is a journal which should both foster and benefit from the rising wave of historical-sociological research. Particularly studies which include more than one case, especially systematic comparative synchronic studies, may help to provide broader understanding of the social and political events, especially in East-Central Europe, a region full of petty exceptionalisms.
We welcome studies which will deal with such issues as:
- The practices and methodologies of multiple case analyses, especially the comparative social and historical research.
- Comparative research of politics and economies of Central-Eastern European countries, including their position within – and comparisons between broader historical and economical regions, especially the European (and global) centers, peripheries and semi-peripheries, including the relation between the East and West in the Cold War period.
- Theory and comparative research on nations and nationalism in Central-Eastern Europe, and elsewhere, both in the European West and outside the western world.
- The variety of social histories that could be told by using the multiplicity of different (macro-regional, country, regional) social settings.
- Intellectual development within Communist countries, including the expert/socialist origins of post-1989 neoliberal (and/or nationalist?) consensus.
The papers should be 8000-10000 words in length, written in English, or Polish. The Acta Poloniae Historica has secured a limited fund for proofreading and translation. All papers will be subject to the journal’s standard double blind peer-review process. Guest editors Anna Sosnowska and Jarosław Kilias are responsible for final selection of the published papers.