The German connection | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 129, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



During the high tide of philosophy of history in the Netherlands, German historiography was intensively monitored and debated. Theory of history, however, meant different things in both countries. This article explores the perceptions, the transfers, and the differences between both discourses. It argues that theoretical discussions in the FRG were always tied to concrete German history (i.e. National Socialism). This was one of the reasons why critical philosophy of history did not reach such a high degree of specialization as in the Netherlands. Moreover, Bielefeld modernists deeply distrusted the concept of narrative and rejected most forms of (French and American) postmodernism. These were discussed in the Netherlands at a much earlier stage. Therefore it was only with the erosion of the ‘theoriegeleitete historische Sozialwissenschaft’ after 1990 that a certain degree of return transfer could develop. Dutch theory of history was adopted and translated in the context of the deconstruction of the Bielefeld school and the rise of postmodernism in German historiography.


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