Re-thinking the “Region” in (Global) History


  • Leon Julius Biela Universität Freiburg


While historians frequently use the term “region”, little thought is given to what “regions” are. This methodological essay explores the concepts of the “region” used in current historical scholarship and especially in global history, discussing their problems and potential. Drawing on ideas from spatial theory and human geography, the essay considers how an analytically viable conceptualization of the “region” would look. Overall, the essay contends that working out theoretically informed spatial concepts is essential for (global) history, and argues that a more reflective use of the “region” will open up new perspectives for (global) historical research.