‘Multiple Sonderwegs.’ The Specificity of Historical Development of East Central Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century (Introductory Remarks)

Maciej Janowski

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/APH.2015.111.01


This introductory article offers intellectual frames and historical context to the subsequent collection of essays. There are two questions their authors try and answer: First, what discussions on the respective specificities of historical develop­ment were carried out in various countries of East Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Second, what was the scope of topics to be discussed, whereas their aim is to interweave this description or analysis of the debates with posing the question regarding the core of the matter – and this by showing a series of case studies where the approach connected, in some way or another, with the peculiar path concept might seem useful. For the purpose of this volume, the notion of peculiar path is approached in a possibly broad context. The structure of the nineteenth-century city, formation of a modern national awareness: such problems are suitable, according to the authors, for research in view of multiplicity of peculiar paths: rather than highways along which the Zeitgeist of a nation or humanity streaks, these would be medium-rank and medium-sized roads on which medium-scale processes and occurrences roll along.


modernization; development; East Central Europe; protochronism; methodology

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