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Discussion: the futures of global history

Drayton, Richard and Motadel, David (2018) Discussion: the futures of global history. Journal of Global History, 13 (1). pp. 1-21. ISSN 1740-0228

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S1740022817000262


Global history has come under attack. It is charged with neglecting national history and the ‘small spaces’ of the past, with being an elite globalist project made irrelevant by the anti-globalist politics of our age, with focusing exclusively on mobile people and things, and with becoming dangerously hegemonic. This article demonstrates that global history is, intertwined with a focus on the nation and the local, on individuals, outsiders, and subalterns, and on small and isolated places. Moreover, global history has directly addressed immobility and resistances to flow, and remains relatively weak in the discipline, versus the persistent dominance everywhere of national history. The article offers a new short history of the rise of the contemporary idiom of global history, and a prospect for a future in which scholars may find, through collaboration, alternatives to the European weights and measures of the past, and to the dominance of Anglophone historians. It argues that we should no more reverse the ‘global turn’ than we should return history’s gaze only to propertied white men. Rather than a retreat from global history, we need it more than ever to fight against myths of imperial and national pasts, which often underpin nationalist populisms.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2018 11:27
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2024 18:09

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