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Socialisms in the Tsarist Borderlands

Poland and Finland in a Contrastive Comparison, 1830—1907

Wiktor Marzec and Risto Turunen

Empire. In the case of Polish socialism and Finnish socialism , their long-term destinies were inevitably tied to both the resilience and the fall of the Empire. 2 However, one can approach the political history of the imperial borderlands of Poland

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Jussi Kurunmäki

This article examines the ways in which the Finnish liberals described themselves as national liberals and how they were labeled by their opponents as supporters of foreign doctrines and cosmopolitanism in the late nineteenth century. It will be shown that the rhetoric of liberalism was entangled in an inflamed issue between the advocates of Finnish and Swedish languages in Finland. Ultimately, this contest dealt with the concept of nation. Furthermore, the article discusses the uses of other countries' political life as exemplary cases, thus bringing a transnational perspective into the analysis. The contested character of the concept of liberalism and its compound form, national liberalism (nationell liberalism, kansallinen liberalismi), will be highlighted by paying attention to the semantic differences between Swedish-language and Finnish-language uses of the concept. The article closes with an interpretation of the weak role that the concept of liberalism has played in nineteenth-century Finnish political culture.

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Frank Beck Lassen

Historisk tidskrift för Finland Vol. 92, nr. 1, 2007. Theme issue on conceptual history entitled: Concept, Language and History

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Powerlessness and Unfairness

A Letter to Jan Zielonka

Henri Vogt

Jan Zielonka’s Counter-Revolution: Liberal Europe in Retreat (Oxford University Press, 2018) is a furious, worried pamphlet on the challenges that European democracies are currently facing, on the apparent rise of illiberalism. This article critically reviews the book and seeks to offer a somewhat different and perhaps more optimistic picture of the current predicaments of European politics. The main point of reference in this respect is Finland, a country whose political institutions have managed, by and large, to uphold a sense of coherence in society. A commitment to participatory, equality-based, and freedom-generating institutions can indeed be seen as a primary means to counter the decline of liberalism.

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Hugo Bonin and Aleksandra Konarzewska

One Swallow Does Not a Spring Make Pasi Ihalainen, The Springs of Democracy: National and Transnational Debates on Constitutional Reform in the British, German, Swedish and Finnish Parliaments, 1917–1919 (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society

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Gerhard L. Weinberg

This article covers three aspects of the Holocaust that are commonly misrepresented or ignored. First, an endlessly repeated piece of misinformation, is the description of the Holocaust as a project to kill the Jews of Europe. Most ignore the evidence that all Jews on earth were to be killed, that some outside Europe were killed, and that there were preparations for the killing of Jews in the Middle East. The second is the German expectation of winning the war, and that certain policies in implementing the Holocaust can only be understood in the context of an expectation of easier completion after victory. The third aspect is the absence from most accounts of the personal interests of those doing the killing in promotions, medals, loot, etc. in the early years and in safety from dangerous assignment to fighting at the front in the later years of the war.

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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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Karin Tilmans

The article “Applying Begriffsgeschichte to Dutch History: Some Remarks on the Practice and Future of a Project” (Contributions to the History of Concepts, vol. 2, no. 1, March 2006, pp. 43-58) is based on a collective paper Wyger Velema and I wrote for the first HSPCG conference held at the Finnish Institute in London, June 1998. It contains therefore substantive parts written by him, and as this is not at all clear from the published article, I would very much herewith like to rectify this and apologize for any inconvenience caused.

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Liberalism's Historical Diversity

A Comparative Conceptual Exploration

José María Rosales

Rooted in late seventeenth-century theories of rights, liberal ideas have brought forth since the nineteenth century a full-edged complex of traditions in moral, political, economic, social, and legal thought. Yet in historiographical debates such complexity is often blurred by presenting it under the uniform terms of a canon. Along with other methods, conceptual history is contributing to the rediscovery of liberalism's diversity. This group of articles compiles three conceptual studies on scarcely explored aspects of the history of liberalism in Denmark, Finland, and Hungary—countries whose political past has only occasionally figured in mainstream accounts of European liberalism. This introductory article is a methodological discussion of the rationale and forms in which liberalism's historical diversity is rendered through comparative conceptual research. After reflecting on the limits of the Anglophone history of political thought to grasp the plurality of liberal traditions, the article examines how transnational conceptual histories recast the understanding of liberalism as a concept, theory, ideology, and political movement.

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Slagmark

Tidsskrift for idéhistorie, 48 (forår 2007)

Jani Marjanen

In spring 2007, Slagmark, a Danish intellectual history journal devoted an entire issue to the growing field of the history of concepts (in Danish, begrebshistorie), thus contributing to the international reception of German Begriffsgeschichte. As an attempt to reintroduce conceptual history to an audience of intellectual historians in Denmark, the compilation is worth a closer look. Th e volume focuses primarily on theoretical issues and on the work of Reinhart Koselleck. Strikingly, compared to the empirically-oriented Swedish introductory volume, Trygghet och äventyr (2005), edited by Bo Lindberg, and the extensive volume, Käsitteet liikkeessä (2003), produced by a group of Finnish scholars, the Danish volume concentrates on Koselleck’s work per se rather than on its various applications in different national contexts. In fact, only one of the articles in the volume addresses historical uses of concepts, namely a Danish translation of Koselleck’s “Zur antropologischen und semantischen Strukur der Bildung,” first published as an introductory article in Bildungsbürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert II (1990), and republished in the collected volume Begriff sgeschichten (2006).