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João Feres Júnior

Not long ago, conceptual history was an approach restricted to German-speaking academic circles and to very few scholars worldwide. This situation has markedly changed in the last two decades, primarily of the appearance of research projects for studying concepts in historical perspective in other European countries — such as Finland, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, France, and Spain — and because of Melvin Richter’s endeavor in promoting an encounter between German Begriffsgeschichte and English speaking approaches for the historical study of political languages, discourses, and rhetoric. The History of Political and Social Concepts Group (HPSCG) is among the most significant results of these developments.

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João Feres Júnior

Contributions to the History of Concepts has now completed two years of existence. Its history has been closely tied to the annual meetings of the History of Political and Social Concepts Group (HPSCG). Talks about evolving from the HPSCG’s Newsletter to an academic periodical publication began in Bilbao, in 2003. The following year, at the 7th International Conference on the History of Concepts, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, we designed a plan to create a new journal that would serve as a conduit for researchers working with conceptual history, as well as for scholars interested in other related fields, such as intellectual history, the history of political thought, the history of ideas, etc. After a great deal of ground work, the journal was finally launched in 2005, both in digital and paper format, with an elegant graphic design and a host of excellent texts by distinguished scholars in the fields of conceptual history, intellectual history, and the history of political thought, such as Quentin Skinner, Melvin Richter, Kari Palonen, and Robert Darnton. The response from the international academic community was immediate and very encouraging. Since then positive feedback from a growing audience worldwide has been constantly on the rise.

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Sandro Chignola and João Feres Júnior

Contributions to the History of Concepts has much to celebrate. On one hand, issue number 3 inaugurates the journal’s second volume; its second year of existence. The reception of volume one could not have been better. We have received enthusiastic feedback from readers all over the world. Contributions has published authors from many different countries and from diverse academic milieus and traditions. The international reception of conceptual history has been on the rise for decades and Contributions is both a consequence of and an agent in this process. Our celebration, however, is not without sorrow. On February 3, 2006, Reinhart Koselleck passed away. One of the most influential historians and theoreticians of the last fifty years, Koselleck was simply the most important author in the field of conceptual history and, at the same time, an active promoter of its international reception.