a Doctor of History, a professor, a leading research fellow at the Institute of History of the NAS of Ukraine
Global History as a Newest Trend of the Social Humanities
The article observes the genealogy of the concept modern global history. There is also a consideration of how the concept correlates with categories globalization, history of globalization, and global historical analysis. The history of the global history construct is observed in Georg G. Iggers and Q. Edward Wang’s work A Global History of Modern Historiography, which distinguishes three phases in global history’s formation: XVIIth–XVIIIth cent., XIXth cent., and late XXth century.
At the third stage, a shift of global thinking priorities takes place; it is caused by the crisis of Eurocentrism and the acceptance of equivalence of other cultures, traditions and styles of historical writings by modern intellectuals. New information technologies not only modify economy and societies, but also bind the entire world into an entity. Hence, global history is now considered as a social construct, as an ideology of the globalization age. It is also a new trend in history, which came into being in the late XXth century and essentially differs from previous historiographical canons and traditions.
Global history as an ideology has its own features. In contrast to preceding historical paradigms (Hegelianism, First and Second Positivisms, and Marxism), new global history does not accept general laws within history. And while within Eurocentrism dominated the view of metanarrative as a narrative of progress (history of states, nations, formations, cultures, and civilizations), – at present, it is believed that modernity is being entangled out of numerous histories, and thus global history is anticipated to be constituted of a quite new world in its aggregate.
The cardinal distinction of global history from previous ideologies is a refusal of the Essentialistic understanding of history, within whose range of thinking such concepts as civilization, formation, nation, and class were interpreted as though they historically exist and are actual essences. Global history as an ideology and a new trend in the XXIst-century science has Internet-revolution as its methodological foundation, with planetary thinking as a marker of the anthropogene’s age being considered as its philosophical ground. In modern intellectual space, there emerge international scientific centres of global history research, as well as two journals (Journal оfWorldHistory, GlobalHistory). There have been formed two types global historical studies: transnational history and cross-history.
Modern Ukrainian historiography faces challenges of new global history as well. In our opinion, relevant to the Ukrainian national history is the model of histoirecroisee, entangled or connected history. Therefore, the global history of a country (e.g. Ukraine) is a reconstruction of reciprocal actions of different people, cultures, traditions, political and social movements, religious, ethnic and national identities, and a transfer of technologies, ideas, merchandise, and a description of various forms of modernization.
Top priority tasks of domestic historians are the realization of a fact of Eurocentrism crisis and its outcomes, as well the creation of a Ukrainian metanarrative on prospects of global historical studies. The principle of intersystem and intrasystem interaction (so called dialogical historicism) acts as a methodological foundation of this metanarrative.
The pivot of the XXth-century Ukrainian history is constituted by undulatory alternation of raising and decline periods of it as a subject of historical process with multidirectional vectors (economic upturns often coincided with spiritual degradations, the development of cultural and intellectual activities fell on crisis times in economy, while the growth of politics and political activities usually concurred with economic and social problems).
Thus, new global history is instrumental in modernizing the consciousness of Ukrainian intellectuals in the globalizing world.
global history, world history, globalization, history of globalization, history of Ukraine.
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