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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 5: Historical Writing Since 1945$
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Axel Schneider and Daniel Woolf

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199225996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199225996.001.0001

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World History

World History

(p.93) Chapter 5 World History
The Oxford History of Historical Writing

Jürgen Osterhammel

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines different approaches to global history. Modern world history differs from older universal-historical constructions in that it presupposes an empirical idea of geography and of both the unity and plurality of humanity’s historical experience. After the Second World War, historians paid more attention to the interaction of the nation-state (the local) and the world (the global). The newer global history, while it does not negate the nation-state, strives to understand the reasons for the success of the West, without however reverting to a Eurocentric and essentializing perspective. Aware of the constructedness of history, it nonetheless pays attention to agency in the past, and to the plurality of perspectives and divergent historical paths. It does so by focusing on topics such as the history of migration, the environment, and economic globalization.

Keywords:   global history, modern world history, historical experience, historical paths, migration, environment, economic globalization

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