About the Journal

Since 1991, Comparativ has been devoted to innovative approaches in transnational, transregional, and global history that not only focus on the global condition emerging since the nineteenth century but also analyse former processes of transregional interaction. The journal is unifying and comprehensive in its approach, exhibiting the determined efforts by various disciplines to historically investigate processes of globalization. Differences and similarities between differently interpreted units of analysis as well as entanglements, connections, and intercultural transfers are addressed in both the most recent past as well as a longue durée perspective. The journal places emphasis on the significance and function of these aspects regarding processes of respatialization by which social, cultural, political, economic, and legal orders are increasingly shaped. As the official journal of the European Network in Universal and Global History (ENIUGH), founded in 2002, Comparativ facilitates dialogue between European historians and area studies specialists and their colleagues from other parts of the world in order to overcome the lasting effects of the Eurocentric legacy in conceptualizing and writing world history.

Comparativ publishes six thematic issues a year and accepts articles in English, French, and German. All research articles published in the journal undergo rigorous peer review based on initial editorial screening and refereeing by anonymous referees. This process is first applied to the concept notes for thematic issues and second to the individual contributions.

With review articles on current international publications in the field of transnational, transregional, and global history, Comparativ contributes to the critical reflection on developments in these fields, both with regard to the synthesis of as well as commencement of new research, being published in monographs and collective volumes.

Comparativ is an open access journal with a moving wall of 36 months.


History of the Journal

Comparativ emerged as a response to – and reflection on – the fundamental changes occurring throughout 1989. With the growing international interest in global processes, a research team at Leipzig University established the journal as a symbol of the continuation of the century-long tradition in world history writing in Leipzig that started with Karl Lamprecht in the very early twentieth century and was followed, among others, by Walter Markov focusing on comparative colonial history and Manfred Kossok investigating comparatively the history of revolutions in modern times. The journal became an effective instrument for networking in all geographical directions since its thematic issues provided the platform for assembling different perspectives and points of view around a common topic. Authors from more than 50 countries have, since its founding, contributed to the journal’s success and wide readership. This networking went hand in hand with the integration into the slowly emerging community of global historians. As a result, Comparativ became not only one of the leading journals in this field but also from 2002 onwards the official journal of the European Network in Universal and Global History (ENIUGH), which has been a source of inspiration through its congresses (thus far held in Leipzig [2005], Dresden [2008], London [2011], Paris [2014], and Budapest [2017]) for cooperation both within and beyond the continent. The Steering Committee of ENIUGH, with its members from a wide range of European countries, serves as the international advisory board of the journal, with members taking active part in the rigorous peer-review process.

After 28 years of paper publishing, the editorial board, together with the publisher, decided to transform Comparativ into an open access journal that will disseminate the results of research presented in the journal even further by means of electronic availability, in addition to the traditional form of publication. All issues published so far have been digitalized and are now available online.

Global history has undergone a series of changes over the past three decades, which is reflected in the journal’s history. While in the beginning conceptual questions and the construction of a historiographical legacy were at the forefront of interest, with new cohorts of younger scholars and their experiences with the potential research coming from the transnational or even transregional use of archives, the interest in empirical results was growing fast. Global history became more and more dependent on cooperation between specialists for various regions, epochs, or societal dimensions. Comparativ offers such specialists the space to present the results of their intellectual interaction and presents the reader with thematic issues that bring such expertise together.

Although global history seemed to be concerned in the beginning primarily with the deterritorializing effects of global flows, it has more recently developed an increasing interest in the – partly traditional, partly innovative – ways various actors exercise control over such flows. This has at the same time opened up new avenues for fruitful research on the many variants of globalization, or more precisely of projects, to determine the way globalization takes and shall take. As a consequence, Comparativ now pays much more attention to such projects undertaken outside the classical West, be it, for example, in the Global South or in the realm of a “red globalization”.