Vorwort | pp. 5
Nachrichten aus dem Institut
Gustavo Corni - Die militärischen Besatzungen im Ersten Weltkrieg. Neue historiographische Perspektiven
The investigation on the military occupations in Europe during World War I has undergone an articulated evolution in historiography, with isolated peaks of interest (during the war and immediately after its end), and long phases of diffused disinterest. In the last two decades, international historiograhy has devoted renewed interest to the topic. Several regional monographies were devoted to the study of specific regional cases, in particular with renewed interest for the situation in the East and in the Balkans. These monographs-offering new and interesting insights on specific situations-move from two main perspectives: first, the trend to consider (or at least critically checking the thesis) World War I a «global» conflict, which involved both the military and civilians, in particular in the occupied territories, thus in analogy to the following general conflict in Europe. Second: investigating continuities and discontinuities, analogies and differences between World War I and World War II, as far as Germany is concerned. The essay offers an overview of the different forms of occupation policies enacted 1914-1918, with the result of enhancing scepticism with regard to the last interpretations (or perspectives) cited above.
Francesco Benigno - Gewalt
The attitude of historians towards violence during the last twenty years has taken on the kind of importance that was previously attributed to revolution. If for a long time violence had been considered an unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of political and social transformation now it is central in historical discourse. Violence has taken on a central and constituent role in the new hegemonic scheme of historical memory, a necessary ingredient of the sacral dimension that accompanies the symbolic and mystical-identity making reuse of the past as seen through the figure of the martyr and its executioner. There is therefore some merit to be found today, in the light of the recent centrality of violence in the history discourse, in reconsidering the ways in which the historiography of the early modern age has addressed the issue of popular violence over the last three decades. This is what will be attempted in the pages of this essay, which aim to turn the spotlight onto the tendency to project violence onto a rather ambiguous subject, the armed crowd; a fairly opaque subject at best. In addition, this tendency to ascribe violence to a predetermined and insubordinate subject highlights the inclination towards concentrating violence in someone other than us, in a subject who «does the dirty work for us», and thus literally displays the repugnant, disgusting, and terrifying side of humanity, conceived as possessing an atavistic animal quality that enables it to perform barbarous feats: ritual mutilations, physical and symbolic violence, the shedding of blood and flesh, right up to decapitation and anthropophagy. Forgetting how any discourse on violence should instead take its cue from institutional and conventional practices, from the violent yet routine imposition of the social norm. Violence, in the end, should be seen not as «a thing», or as an act or a complex of acts, but as a criterion used for discerning the good and the evil, a moral judgment.
Sandro Carocci und Simone M. Collavini - Der Preis des Staates. Politik und Abgaben im mittelalterlichen Europa (6.-14. Jahrhundert)
What were the models and ideal-types through which historians of the medieval West have dealt with the topic of the funding of the state and of institutions? First conceived in the context of a meeting between historians of the Christian West, of Islam, and of Byzantium, this paper stakes out a historiographical analysis, setting out some contradictions and suggesting some additions as well. Its focus is on three basic questions: 1) How were the creation and functioning of political structures and institutions financed? 2) How were political structures themselves influenced by the forms of their funding? 3) What were the social and economic consequences of the circulation of resources derived from politics?