:: About the school [deutsch]

The Berlin School for Comparative European History (Berliner Kolleg für Vergleichende Geschichte Europas, BKVGE) is based at the Freie Universität Berlin, but is jointly organized by the FU and Humboldt University. Utilizing Berlin as an important site of exchange, the Berlin School continues the work of the former Center for Comparative History of Europe (1998-2004), but has shifted its focus to consider more directly the ways in which the histories of Eastern and Western Europe are linked. The Directorate includes Profs. Etienne Francois, Manfred Hildermeier, Hartmut Kaelble, Jürgen Kocka und Holm Sundhaussen.

Research at the Berlin School concentrates on the development of relations transcending national borders and cultural boundaries, but also considers questions of regional divergences, such that processes of drawing and transgressing borders are related to the emergence, dissemination and erosion of the values and social practices of civil society. In order to identify structural similarities and common identities, the Berlin School analyses external influences on Europe as well as non-European views of its history. Empirical research is focused on four fields of historical investigation: the public sphere and citizenship (1), migration and transfer (2), social self-organisation and the state (3), and European identities in a global perspective (4). With regard to methodology, the Berlin School concentrates on historical comparison and the history of transnational relations and social entanglements.

The core of the BKVGE is comprised of a PhD scholarship programme for doctoral candidates from Eastern and Western European countries, which is generously supported by the Gerda-Henkel-Stiftung (Düsseldorf) and the Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung. The centre organizes a wide range of academic events, including conferences, workshops, a weekly seminar, annual summer schools for young historians and a programme of guest lectures. Publications issued by the BKVGE include a series of textbooks on European history (Synthesen. Probleme europäischer Geschichte. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen).