Volume LII 1 - 2018
Global History: Structures, Strategies, Open Problems
Marco Meriggi, pp. 35-44
Through the critical discussion of some recently published works, the author reflects on the role of global history in the general landscape of contemporary historiography. In particular, he highlights the reasons why it is necessary to reconsider and recast the notion of Eurocentrism, which has long been dominant in historical research on the modern and contemporary age. One can, of course, continue to adopt a basically Eurocentric perspective (Europe in the world), especially in relation to the past two centuries of history. However, in light of a global-scale analysis, many typical beliefs of the classic Eurocentric approach do not seem as convincing today as they once did. Moreover, it seems evident that the global perspective necessarily suggests a rethinking of the very idea of Europe in the course of the modern age (Europe as such). In fact, at the beginning of the modern age, Southern Europe – today often considered backward in relation to Northern Europe – was decidedly at the forefront of globalization processes, performing the role of the prime protagonist of the process of European expansion around the globe.In any case, it appears clear from examination of the texts analyzed in what follows that today also scholars who do not necessarily share this approach are actively addressing global history and its problems.