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Books by Mark Hewitson

History and Causality (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

The volume investigates the different attitudes of historians and other social scientists to questions of causality. It argues that historical theorists after the linguistic turn have paid surprisingly little attention to causes in spite of the centrality of causation in many contemporary works of history. Such neglect or criticism of causality in history on a theoretical level contrasts with persisting interest in and justification of causal analysis in sociology, political science, international relations and economics, which have been criticised by historians for searching in vain for quantitative proofs, probabilities and covering laws. This study demonstrates, through a critical analysis of a series of overlapping linguistic, cultural and post-colonial ‘turns’, the extent to which intellectual, social, cultural and other historians have come to ignore or renounce the very idea of causality. It proceeds to uncover the nexus between the posing of questions, selection of evidence, use of comparison and counterfactuals, and refinement of theories, all of which are necessary for description and narrative.

Europe in Crisis: Intellectuals and the European Idea, 1917-1957 (Oxford: Berghahn, 2012), 350pp, edited with Matthew D'Auria

Europe in Crisis

The period between 1917 and 1957, starting with the birth of the Soviet Union and the American intervention in the First World War and ending with the Treaty of Rome, is of the utmost importance for contextualizing and for understanding the intellectual origins of the European Community. This study reassesses the relationship between ideas of Europe and the European project; it asks whether conceptions of Europe before 1957 were pessimistic, defensive, progressive, cultural, economic or political; it questions the relevance of 1918 and 1945 as turning-points in the history of the conceptualisation of Europe and of European integration; and it reconsiders the impact of long and short-term political transformations on assumptions about the continent's scope, nature, role and significance.

Nationalism in Germany

Nationalism in Germany, 1848-1866: Revolutionary Nation (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 464 pp.


This study reassesses the relationship between politics and the nation in Germany in the critical decades between the revolutions of 1848-49 and unification after 1866. It questions the existence of a broad shift from liberal to conservative nationalism, challenges the notion that cultural and ethnic forms of nationalism were particularly pronounced in Germany as a result of late unification, and qualifies the idea of a ‘revolution from above’. It asks how, when and why German unification occurred, revising existing accounts of Bismarck's role.

What is a Nation?

What is a Nation? Europe, 1789-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2006), 377 pp., edited with Timothy Baycroft


The volume analyses and compares different forms of nationalism as they originated and developed in Europe throughout the 'long nineteenth century', and offers an original reassessment. It reconsiders whether the distinction between civic and ethnic identities and politics in Europe has been overstated, and whether it needs to be replaced altogether by a new set of concepts or types. This and other typologies are explored and related to complex processes of industrialization, increasing state intervention, secularization, democratization, and urbanization. Debates about citizenship, political economy, liberal institutions, socialism, empire, changes in the states system, Darwinism, high and popular culture, Romanticism, and Christianity all affected - and were affected by - discussion of nationhood and nationalist politics. By examining the significance of such controversies and institutional changes in a broader European context, together with new and systematic comparisons, this book reassesses the history of modern nationalism.

Germany and the Causes of the First World War

Germany and the Causes of the First World War (Oxford: Berg, 2004), 268 pp.

This book encourages us to re-think the events that led to global conflict in 1914. Historians in recent years have argued that German leaders acted defensively or pre-emptively in 1914, conscious of the Reich's deteriorating military and diplomatic position. Germany and the Causes of the First World War challenges such interpretations, placing new emphasis on the idea that the Reich Chancellor, the German Foreign Office and the Great General Staff were confident that they could win a continental war. This belief in Germany's superiority derived primarily from an assumption of French decline and Russian weakness throughout the period between the turn of the century and the eve of the First World War. Accordingly, Wilhelmine policy-makers pursued offensive policies - at the risk of war at important junctures during the 1900s and 1910s.The author analyses the stereotyping of enemy states, representations of war in peacetime, and conceptualizations of international relations. He uncovers the complex role of ruling elites, political parties, big business and the press, and contends that the decade before the First World War witnessed some critical changes in German foreign policy. By the time of the July crisis of 1914, for example, the perception of enemies had altered, with Russia - the traditional bugbear of the German centre and left - becoming the principal opponent of the Reich. Under these changed conditions, German leaders could now pursue their strategy of brinkmanship, using war as an instrument of policy, to its logical conclusion.

National Identity and Political Thought in Germany: Wilhelmine Depictions of the French Third Republic, 1890-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2000), 287 pp.

The study examines the interrelationship between the construction of national identity and the transformation of political thought in Germany before the First World War. During the decade or so before the war, the German Empire was challlenged openly by both left and right for the first time since the 1870s. Paradoxically, however, this pre-war crisis of Germany's system of government occurred during a period of increasing nationalism, which created a solid cross-party basis of support for the Empire as a nation-state. The volume argues that Wilhelmine debates about the reform of the German Empire can only be understood in the context of a broader discussion and comparison of European and American political regimes which took place in Germany after the turn of the century. In such contemporary debates about a German Sonderweg, France remained a principal point of reference because French-style parliamentarism had come to be viewed as the main alternative to German constitutionalism.

 

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