E – Concepts and digital tools, fields and disciplines in global history

From the study of globalization to research on globalization projects

Event Details

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    E – Concepts and digital tools, fields and disciplines in global history
  • Matthias Middell (Leipzig University)
  • Matthias Middell (Leipzig University)


  • Matthias Middell

    Is there a French globalization project?|France was among the forerunners of early modern colonization but had to give up its American possessions while searching for a new colonial empire during the 19th century, this time rather in Africa and Indochina while playing a major role as well in Europe and in the Near East. After decolonization the country's elites have not resigned from the role of a global player (as for example the Organization of Francophonia demonstrates). Many more elements of a global engagement of various generations of French people can be added to this list, but the question this paper deals with is if this is enough to speak of a particular French globalization project.


This panel intends to discuss a major shift in global history that goes from taking "globalization" as a quasi-natural process for granted to the question who are actors of globalizing the world and do they pursue more or less coherent globalization projects. In the background of this panel is the endavour of a book series that treats such projects comparatively. However, with the central claim of such a shift the practical problems are not yet solved and the panel contributions will address such questions as: Who can be described as an appropriate (collective) actor of such projects and do we eventually fall back into a history of elites only? What is an appropriate timeframe for research on such projects? To what extent it makes sense to attribute such projects to subsequent generations within one particular territorial unit - let's say France or the USA?