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The Politics of Time

Zeitgeist in Early Nineteenth-Century Political Discourse

Theo Jung

This article traces the uses of zeitgeist in early nineteenth-century European political discourse. To explain the concept's explosive takeoff in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, two perspectives are combined. On the one hand, the concept is shown to be a key element in the new, “temporalized” discourses of cultural reflection emerging during this time. On the other, its pragmatic value as a linguistic tool in concrete political constellations is outlined on the basis of case studies from French, British, and German political discourse. Developing this two-sided perspective, the article sheds light on an important aspect of early nineteenth-century political discourse while also pointing to some general considerations concerning the relationship between the semantic and pragmatic analysis of historical language use.

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The Sanctification and Democratisation of "the Nation" and "the People" in Late Eighteenth-Century Northwestern Europe

Proposing a Comparative Conceptual History

Pasi Ihalainen

This paper suggests that the study of the modernisation of European political cultures in the eighteenth century would greatly benefit from a comparative conceptual historical approach. is approach would effect the reconstruction of a variety of meanings attached to chosen political concepts in different national contexts through the side-by-side analysis of primary sources originating from each case according to the methodology of both historical semantics and pragmatics. A promising research topic is the continuity and change in the conceptualisation of national community, national identity, popular sovereignty and democracy in various European political cultures. e conceptual analyses of late eighteenth-century political sermons from five northwestern European countries, conducted by the author, for example, reveal that conceptual changes related to the rise of nationalism took place even within public religion, allowing it to adapt itself to the age of nationalism. Further analysis of the secular debates taking place in representative bodies and public discourse in late eighteenth-century Britain, the Dutch Republic and Sweden elucidates the gradual development of the notion that all political power is ultimately derived from the people and that such a system constituted a "democracy" in a positive sense within different parliamentary traditions and perhaps even before the French Revolution.

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Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft

The Reception of a Conceptual Dichotomy

Niall Bond

Ferdinand Tönnies's oeuvre Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, published in 1887, has been seminal for the social and human sciences in general, and is no less interesting for intellectual historians and theoreticians of concept formation in particular. Tönnies subscribed to the belief that terms could be rendered less ambiguous, defining the words Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft more narrowly than their contemporary usage. In so doing, he sought to reconcile a heterogeneous agenda initially consisting in offering a diagnosis of vast historical developments and later consisting in providing heuristic tools to analyze individual relationships. This article examines the origins of the concepts and their politicized transformation prior to and subsequent to the publication of his work. As such, it takes on the transformation of Gemeinschaft during the romantic era and its revival by Germany's nationalist right wing and contrasts it with its appropriation by left-leaning communitarian movements in the English-speaking world. The polysemy of the terms in the German language accounts for their semantic evolution, for amalgamations of meanings within Tönnies's conceptual system, and for conundrums in translating the work into English or French. Although the terms were erroneously supposed to have been immediately applicable as ideal types, their adaptation, inter alia by Max Weber or by Talcott Parsons in the form of pattern variables, has been important in the reception of Tönnies's work in the social sciences.

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Conceptual Universalization and the Role of the Peripheries

Stefan Nygård and Johan Strang

they perceived as a struggle to define a concept with universal validity. To put it bluntly, when Scandinavian intellectuals were debating whether an English or French conceptualization of liberalism was best suited for local Scandinavian purposes

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From “De Facto King” to Peasants’ Communes

A Struggle for Representation in the Discourse of the Polish Great Emigration, 1832–1846/48

Piotr Kuligowski

in the ongoing debates on the concept of national representation that emerged during the French Revolution and occupied an important place in further reconsiderations. 1 Owing to the diversity of local contexts and social configurations, however

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Reviews

Stefan Nygård, Matti La Mela, and Frank Nullmeier

nineteenth century. This shift from what Teilmann-Lock terms the “print-reprint” to the “original-copy paradigm” is mapped by examining scholarly texts, legislative documents, and legal cases from the United Kingdom, France, and Denmark and takes a wide

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Populism

The Timeline of a Concept

Juan Francisco Fuentes

populism is concentrated paternalism.” 39 That would explain, according to The London Daily News, the tremendous pace of its growth in the western states over the last four years. The French press also used the term to report on the US presidential

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Reviews

Eugenia Gay, Philipp Nielsen, Emanuel Richter, and Gregor Feindt

conflict between parliamentary and presidential (as well as plebiscitary) concepts of democracy (11), it is somewhat surprising that the two chapters on French parliamentary history have very little to say about the conversion from the parliamentary system

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The Perception of Time and the Meaning of History among Spanish Intellectuals of the Nineteenth Century

Ana Isabel González Manso

traditionally been thought that Spain was slightly behind the rest of Europe in terms of the beginning of romanticism, although not all authors agree. 3 The early Spanish romantic movement did not take off until the 1830s and was possibly influenced by French

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Heritage (Erfgoed) in the Dutch Press

A History of Changing Meanings in an International Context

Hanneke Ronnes and Tamara Van Kessel

, situating the Dutch concept of erfgoed within the context of how foreign terminology evolved: the English heritage , the German Kulturerbe or Denkmal , and the French patrimoine . Apart from a diachronical approach to erfgoed , we would argue that it