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Global, Regional and Small Spaces in eighteenth-century Habsburg Europe

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INTRODUCTION What does it mean to do global history as an historian of eighteenth-century Habsburg Europe, or of the early modern period more generally; to integrate global and regional history as a set of practices into the writing of history? And what does it mean to integrate the regional and the global in a space widely seen as removed from the globalizing tendencies of maritime European powers, and at a time of regional change and consolidation, but absent of the conspicuous influence of broader global questions? The challenges wrought in any process of integrating global and regional approaches are complicated by the need to engage with the relative strengths and weaknesses in comparative and connected approaches to the study of the past. Some fields of history have responded with ease and enthusiasm to this historiographical turn. Imperial history, for example, is one site in which the local and the global most obviously met, at least in the view of historians, and empire as an analytical tool has been made all the richer through the wealth of recent studies which approach it by transcending national historiographies. Another is in the related colonial context, and one of the richest literatures which has contributed to aiding in rethinking the merits, as well as the methodological challenges, in integrating global and regional histories comes from this active research and publishing field. From post-colonial studies, we learn of the need to shift the focus from structure to process, helping us to unpick existing institutions and to view the global impact on a regional level in the processes of mixture and hybridity; of imitation, borrowing, appropriation, re-appropriation, acculturation, transculturation, amalgamation, accommodation, negotiation, mixing, syncretism, hybridity, fusion, cultural translation, and creolization. Entangling the global and the local in Habsburg Europe in a broader age of colonialism and imperialism can learn from engaging with considerations of scale as critiqued in post-colonial studies; studies which are increasingly coming to include the Habsburg lands in this discourse.



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Geschichte und Region - Storia e Regione

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