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Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe Reloaded?

Writing the Conceptual History of the Twentieth Century

Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, Kathrin Kollmeier, Willibald Steinmetz, Philipp Sarasin, Alf Lüdtke, and Christian Geulen

Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe Reloaded? Writing the Conceptual History of the Twentieth Century Guest editors: Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann and Kathrin Kollmeier

Introduction Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann and Kathrin Kollmeier

Some Thoughts on the History of Twentieth-Century German Basic Concepts Willibald Steinmetz

Is a “History of Basic Concepts of the Twentieth Century“ Possible? A Polemic Philipp Sarasin

History of Concepts, New Edition: Suitable for a Better Understanding of Modern Times? Alf Lüdtke

Reply Christian Geulen

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Introduction and Prefaces to the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe

(Basic Concepts in History: A Historical Dictionary of Political and Social Language in Germany)

Reinhart Koselleck and Michaela Richter

This is the first English translation of Reinhart Koselleck's "Introduction" to the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe (GG, Basic Concepts in History: A Historical Dictionary of Political and Social Language in Germany), which charts how in German-speaking Europe the accelerated changes occurring between the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution were perceived, conceptualized and incorporated into political and social language, registering the transition from a hierarchy of orders to modern societies. The "Introduction" presents the problematic and method formulated in 1972 by Koselleck for writing the history of concepts (Begriffsgeschichte). During the twenty-five years needed to complete the GG, he continued to revise and develop this method. In prefaces written for subsequent volumes, he replied to criticisms of its choice of basic concepts and findings. In these prefaces Koselleck both summarized the great contribution to our historical knowledge of political and social terms that this work and its index volumes had made, and suggested further research projects to build upon its achievements.

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Conceptual History in the United States

A Missing "National Projec"

Martin J. Burke

The author addresses the question of why there has been no national project on the history of political and social concepts in the United States analogous to those which have appeared in many countries in the wake of the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe, the Handbuch politisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich and, the Historisches Wöterbuch der Philosophie. Nevertheless, by listing and explaining how to use a number of available internet resources, the author suggests ways for scholars to develop histories of central concepts in American public discourse

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Historical Semantics in Medieval Studies

New Means and Approaches

Bernhard Jussen and Gregor Rohmann

Between 1972 and 1992 Reinhart Koselleck, Otto Brunner, and Werner Conze published the famous seven volumes of Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur Politisch-Sozialen Sprache in Deutschland. The handbook was, in its day, a milestone for any historian interested in turning from the history of ideas to the history of semantics, of the verbal (and non-verbal) production of meaning. In his introduction, published in 1972, Reinhart Koselleck had directed the authors’ attention to the understanding that Historical Semantics stands and falls with defi ning corpora. In the pursuit of orientation about the quantity and dissemination of semantic figurations, but also of comparability of the articles’ findings, all authors were expected to use predefined text corpora. In conversations with his Bielefeld colleagues Koselleck often complained later that too many authors did not follow his rule and that too many of the handbook’s articles had just continued to work with approaches rooted in the history of ideas.

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Introduction

The Social Life of Contentious Concepts

Ronald S. Stade

project, to date, in this type of research, is the encyclopedia of social and political key concepts Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe , which took 25 years to prepare and which encompasses more than nine thousand pages in eight volumes ( Brunner et al. 2004

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Times of Democracy

The Unavoidable Democracy of Mid-Nineteenth-Century Denmark

Anne Engelst Nørgaard

Denmark in the interwar years and that democracy in Denmark had a longer Sattelzeit than the one identified for the German concept in Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe . 10 In continuation thereof, Palle Svensson has argued democracy was only an

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The Modernity of Political Representation

Its Innovative Thrust and Transnational Semantic Transfers during the Sattelzeit (Eighteenth to Nineteenth Centuries)

Samuel Hayat and José María Rosales

political theory 3 — little attention has been paid to Hasso Hofmann's conceptual history of the term, 4 a study in line with the research program of the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe . On the other hand, in recent years, the pattern of equivalences between

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Reviews

The Environment as an Umbrella Concept; From Word to Historical Concept

Risto-Matti Matero and Juan Alejandro Pautasso

-American space from the eighteenth century onward. Koselleck remains at the foundation of this project, since the Diccionario politico y social del mundo iberoamericano 2 is closely based on the model developed in the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe. 3

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Dealing with an Ocean of Meaninglessness

Reinhart Koselleck's Lava Memories and Conceptual History

Margrit Pernau and Sébastien Tremblay

beyond as a historian of concepts, as the main editor and contributor to the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe . More recently, the interest in his work has shifted to his reflections on the theory of history and temporalities, which were published in a

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Pivots and Levers

Political Rhetoric around Capitalism in Britain from the 1970s to the Present

Neil Foxlee

encyclopedia entry by Kocka on the history of the concept of capitalism updates but does not supersede Marie-Elisabeth Hilger’s article “Kapital, Kapitalist, Kapitalismus” in the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe . 5 Hilger’s article in turn draws partly on the