ISBN: 978-3-593-51595-3

Michael Brzoska

Universität Hamburg

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Peace and conflict research in Germany has, for almost five decades, been enriched by a keen interest among historians to study questions of war and peace. Every ten years or so, stocktaking volumes have been produced by differing members of the core group of researchers in this field, organised in an association, the 'Arbeitskreis historische Friedens- und Konfliktforschung', which regularly organises conferences. This volume appears in their book series. The editors' introduction is a survey of past research, discussing the place of such historical research within the wider field of peace and conflict research as well as within history as an academic discipline. While clearly focusing on research (and, to a limited extent, history teaching) in Germany, developments in other countries, especially the United States (US), inform the discussion (6 of the 16 authors work outside Germany). Historical research in Germany has a broader scope of themes and perspectives than for instance historical peace studies in the US, including research on violent conflict as well as peace. A second reflective chapter focuses on the value and pitfalls of a normative position on peace as a guidepost for such research. Beyond giving a good overview over past research and deliberations, the book under review has the additional benefit of looking at the future of historical peace and conflict research. The majority of the 15 contributions present research areas and themes which have been largely neglected in the past, such as the role of cities, migration, gender, emotions and cultural phenomena. Suggestions for future research also include chapters on methodology, for instance with respect to decolonisation of research and semiotic approaches.