Historical Social Research

42.2 - Religious Denomination / Spatial Dimensions

HSR Vol. 42 (2017) No. 2: 
Forum I: Religious Denomination.

Rolf Gehrmann & Kevin McQuillan (Eds.): The Impact of Religious Denomination on Mentality and Behavior.

For at least 500 years, differences in denomination have helped shape social life in Europe. How have religious perspectives influ-enced the perception of the other, lifestyles, and living conditions? How do we weigh the influence of religion in relation to other social characteristics – and is religion still relevant in modern Europe? The contributions to this HSR Forum will probe these questions through different approaches and in overviews as well as in special surveys for five European countries, among which one with a Muslim majority. Most of the papers are drawn from Historical Demography, which is able to show, for relatively distant historical periods, how a religious mentality manifests itself in behavior and leads to different life-course scripts. Another article takes a close look at the results of polls, which nowadays allow a more direct access to value systems, in order to learn to what extend they are influenced directly or indirectly by religious traditions. The forum is completed by a cultural-historical contribution based on travel reports.

Forum II: Spatial Dimensions.

Christoph Bernhardt (Ed.): Spatial Dimensions of Governance in 20th Century Political Struggles.

Despite a growing interest within the historical sciences for spatial dimensions of socio-cultural interaction, research has concentrated on some subfields and problems, like theoretical challenges of conceptualizing space, urban history or spatial dimensions of everyday life. In contrast, political issues of institutional change and governance in the course of the 20th century stayed to some extent outside the “spatial turn,” apart from some explorations in the growing field of global history. This HSR Forum discusses spatial dimensions in 20th century political struggles along selected questions taken from various strands of research in different disciplines. These questions ad-dress interactions of political actors in terms of Multilevel Governance and scalar strategies in historical conflicts of the 20th century. The articles discuss cases from different political periods and countries and raise questions like governance in socialism, the role of citizens groups and NGOs like Greenpeace in different political contexts and the relevance of knowledge formation for the re-scaling of political arenas in the EU.

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42.2 - Table of Contents & Abstracts

Forum I: The Impact of Religious Denomination on Mentality and Behavior.
  • Kevin McQuillan & Rolf Gehrmann: The Impact of Religious Denomination on Mentality and Behavior. An Introduction. [Abstract]
  • Anne-Lise Head-König: Religion Mattered: Religious Differences in Switzerland and Their Impact on Demographic Behaviour (End of the 18th Century to the Middle of the Twentieth Century). [Abstract]
  • Jan Kok: Church Affiliation and Life Course Transitions in The Netherlands, 1850-1970. [Abstract]
  • Rolf Gehrmann: Denomination and Number of Children: The Case of Rural Baden, 18th/19th Century. [Abstract]
  • Grażyna Liczbińska: Between Religion and Environment: Mortality and Its Causative Factors in Greater Poland in the 19th Century. [Abstract]
  • Siegfried Gruber: The Influence of Religion on Marriage Ages in Albania around 1900. [Abstract]
  • Christoph Nebgen: Economic and Confessional Relationships in 18th Century Travel Writing from the Rhine. [Abstract]
  • Stefan Benz: Measurable Effects of Denominations on Narrative Patterns. The German Case of Diversity in Narrating Histories. [Abstract]

Forum II:  Spatial Dimensions of Governance in 20th Century Political Struggles.
  • Christoph Bernhardt: Governance, Statehood, and Space in 20th Century Political Struggles. An Introduction. [Abstract]
  • Thomas Schaarschmidt: Multi-Level Governance in Hitler’s Germany: Reassessing the Political Structure of the National Socialist State. [Abstract]
  • Lena Kuhl & Oliver Werner: Bezirke on Scale. Regional and Local Actors in East German ‘Democratic Centralism.’ [Abstract]
  • Christian Jansen: Region – Province – Municipality. Spatial Planning and Spatial Policy in Italy, 1860-2016. [Abstract]
  • Sabine Mecking: State – Municipality – Citizen. Rational Territorial Reform against Emotional Will of the Citizenry in West Germany? [Abstract]
  • Frank Zelko: Scaling Greenpeace: From Local Activism to Global Governance. [Abstract]
  • Jay Rowell: Rescaling Disability: The Construction of a European Social Group and Policy Arena. [Abstract]

42.1 - Markets and Classifications

HSR Vol. 42 (2017) 1
Special Issue - Karoline Krenn (Ed.): Markets and Classifications. Categorizations and Valuations as Social Processes Structuring Markets.

In the last couple of years the discussion on market classifications has received new topicality through the unbounded possibilities offered by digital technologies to track behavioral data. Understanding the social foundations of categories and classification systems is a fundamental problem in sociology. In markets, classifications are present in the variety of goods traded, in quality differentiations and their association to goods, and, also their matching with consumers. From a pure business perspective such marking of market identities is based on objective characteristics. In contrast, it is the aim of social science studies to pay attention to the formation of market categories, to examine the social construction processes underlying these classifications and to demonstrate their contingencies.
In this vein, the contributions to this HSR Special Issue, which come from various theoretical schools such as the new economic sociology or the economics of convention, present recent research across a range of economic settings: financial markets, fashion markets, consumer markets and others. Despite the varieties of markets and national institution settings, essential resemblances show. Among the topics covered: The case of the French impact investment market, arguing for a dual function of judgment devices, demonstrates the close connection between boundary-building and boundary-blurring. A study on Dutch marketing agents reveals that the same actors who promote new classifications have difficulties in implementing these differentiations in their own performances. The example of self-categorizations in the British ethical fashion industry shows that the relevance of classifications is connected to reputation and power. And, analyses into the US-credit market discuss the off-label of classifications and its adverse societal consequences.

Furthermore this HSR issue contains a Mixed Issue with two articles.

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42.1 - Table of Contents & Abstracts

Special Issue – Markets and Classifications. Categorizations and Valuations as Social Processes Structuring Markets.
  • Karoline Krenn: Markets and Classifications – Constructing Market Orders in the Digital Age. An Introduction. [Abstract]
  • Contributions
  • Marion Fourcade & Kieran Healy: Classification Situations: Life-Chances in the Neoliberal Era. [Abstract]
  • Akos Rona-Tas: The Off-Label Use of Consumer Credit Ratings. [Abstract]
  • Sebastian Sevignani: Surveillance, Classification, and Social Inequality in Informational Capitalism: The Relevance of Exploitation in the Context of Markets in Information. [Abstract]
  • Jason Pridmore & Lalu Elias Hämäläinen: Market Segmentation in (In)action: Marketing and ‘Yet to Be Installed’ Role of Big and Social Media Data. [Abstract]
  • Karoline Krenn: Segmented Intermediation. Advice Concepts in German Financial Services. [Abstract]
  • Eve Chiapello & Gaëtan Godefroy: The Dual Function of Judgment Devices. Why does the Plurality of Market Classifications Matter? [Abstract]
  • Sebastian Nagel, Stefanie Hiss, Daniela Woschnack & Bernd Teufel: Between Efficiency and Resilience: The Classification of Companies According to their Sustainability Performance. [Abstract]
  • Simone Schiller-Merkens: Will Green Remain the New Black? Dynamics in the Self-Categorization of Ethical Fashion Designers. [Abstract]
  • Rainer Diaz-Bone: Market Classifications, Quantifications and Quality Conventions in Markets – Perspectives of the Economics of Convention. [Abstract]
  • Anne K. Krüger & Martin Reinhart: Theories of Valuation – Building Blocks for Conceptualizing Valuation Between Practice and Structure. [Abstract]
  • Marion Fourcade & Kieran Healy: Concluding Statement – Categories All the Way Down. [Abstract]
Mixed Issue: Articles
  • Elise Kammerer: Uplift in Schools and the Church: Abolitionist Approaches to Free Black Education in Early National Philadelphia. [Abstract]
  • Ingvill C. Mochmann: Children Born of War – A Decade of International and Interdisciplinary Research[Abstract]

41.4 - Political Elites & the Crisis of European Integration

HSR Vol. 41 (2016) 4
Special Issue - 
Lars Vogel & Juan Rodríguez-Teruel (Eds.): National Political Elites and the Crisis of European Integration, Country Studies 2007-2014.

European Integration is currently facing tremendous challenges caused by a series of cumulating crises. Their onset was the global financial and economic crisis in 2008 that rapidly evolved into a sovereign debt crisis, further into a crisis of the Eurozone and led eventually to a political crisis of the entire EU. National political elites have been among the core actors to cope with these challenges. Their behaviour is driven by their Europeanness, i.e. their emotionally and rationally determined attitudes, cognitions and strategies regarding European Integration. To take elites’ greater influence accordingly into account this HSR Special Issue analyzes the shape and determinants of national elites’ Europeanness and the way it developed during the crises. 

The analysis is based on country studies covering 10 EU Member States that represent the main regions within the EU and the salient conflict lines during these crises. It makes use of a unique research design that integrates three surveys among national parliamentarians conducted by the IntUne and the ENEC research projects in 2007, 2009 and 2014 thereby spanning the various stages of the crises. The contributions demonstrate that the crises have affected national elites’ Europeanness in complex ways that are determined by the diversing impact they had on the investigated countries and by how elites perceive the efficiency of supranational integration to cope with them. Beyond national differences, the general evaluations of Europeanness remain quite stable pro-European while preferences regarding the concrete organization of integration are rather prone to change. Elites’ Europeanness primarily shifts in countries, in which strong Eurosceptic parties gained ground during the mentioned crisis indicating that there is the still overwhelmingly pro-European elites are faced with the challenge of responsiveness to an increasingly Eurosceptic population.

41.4 - Table of Contents & Abstracts

Special Issue: Lars Vogel & Juan Rodríguez Teruel (Eds.): National Political Elites and the Crisis of European Integration, Country Studies 2007-2014.

Mixed Issue 



HSR Team