Rethinking Power in Global and Transnational History

A Special Issue of RBPI - Volume 61 - N. 2

The new phase of globalization opened in the 1970s, even if not inaugurating interdependence or interconnectedness, have at least created a new consciousness of how historical process is shared around the globe. In such context, historians have reinforced the call to embrace “global” or “transnational” approaches in order to identify and analyze dynamics or changing features in the development of state, economy, culture, and society formerly ignored or disdained by scholarship.

These perspectives have engulfed the long-term challenge of old national histories and area studies. They are not truly new, neither a turning point for the discipline, as much as Global History should not necessarily be reduced to the history of globalization. One can identify challenges to parochialism and essentialism within the discipline even few decades after Positivism and after Ranke’s German School had re-founded History in mid-Nineteenth Century. Actually, since the early Twentieth-Century, historians of international relations have moved beyond unilateral comparisons and reframed the centrality of diplomatic documents. They have also played down the study of the decision-making process, even when taking into account the weight of structural forces upon decision-makers. State-centrism and the primacy of power have then being challenged. However, strength, control, influence, balance, composition, and agency in political life have not disappeared from the explanatory range of History.

It is in this background and without belittling other perspectives or themes, that Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional – RBPI calls the academic community to submit contributions to its special issue on the analysis of power in a variety of domains, such as diplomacy, economy, gender, ethnicity, culture, science, governance, etc, taking into account the new narratives of Global and Transnational History.

This issue also intends to acknowledge the fact that, in spite of being part of the vocabularies of current historical debate, “Global History” and “Transnational History” do not correspond to a homogeneous body of problems, questions and methodologies. It is rather a debate in which any author wishing to claim such an approach must be able to somehow stand. Our goal is to stimulate submissions of works shifting parts of the historical discipline to the same direction, but also including discussions over what ‘global’ approaches to history mean and how it can change the discipline.

Finally, we consider that different historical traditions might experience different moments in the evolution of the discipline, especially when taking into account how politics can be influent, even if not determinant, on the work of historians. For instance, historical traditions in Latin America, or even in Asia, are still constrained by national approaches and narratives, sometimes even sustaining exceptionalism for populations accidentally living within the same political borders. The challenging of this reality will also be appreciated in this volume.

The volume will be edited by Alexandre Moreli (Professor of International and Global History at Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

RBPI is published exclusively online at Scielo (, following the continuous publication model. This model gives faster publication for authors and also faster access for readers because the articles are published on line at the very moment their editorial production is finished.

All submissions should be original and unpublished, must be written in English, including an abstract of 70-80 words (and three keywords in English), and follow the Chicago System. They must be in the range of 8.000 words. The deadline for submissions is April 30th 2018. Submissions must be done at (Online Submissions).