As a perspective, global history encourages historians to rethink how they delimit spatial scales making them reflect and attempt to rethink national borders. Among the variant approaches pointed out by Sebastian Conrad one of the most promising is based on the concept of integration, proposing an analysis of connectivity. Inspired by this approach this special issue aims to promote a dialogue about integration through articles that discuss internationalist movements in the 19th and 20th centuries.
As Perry Anderson has made clear in his breviary on internationalism, the way in which this concept has been formulated in the past two centuries is closely related to the different conceptions of nationalism. Once seen as antagonists, these twin concepts are now as complementary. In addition to this dichotomy, this special issue seeks, based on the analysis of internationalist movements, to reflect on the application of categories such as nation, empire, world, global and international and thus to discuss the spatial turn in the field of history. This effort builds upon recent scholarly work pioneered by Akira Iriye, Glenda Sluga and Patricia Clavin referred to as the “new internationalism”. This work incorporates a variety of different conceptions of internationalism including anti-colonial, fascist, feminist, liberal, religious and socialist visions. This new pluralist conception of internationalism is attentive to classic international institutions, such as the League of Nations, the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, however supplements this list with an array of new actors and institutions from a variety of positions.
In accordance with these aims, this special issue proposes articles that relate to the following questions:
Through which identities, groups and networks did internationalist thinking emerge? How did actors, institutions and movements become international? How inclusive or exclusive were different internationalist views? What types of knowledge did internationalist movements create or reconfigure? What are the political, economic, social and cultural conditions that made activism and internationalist thinking possible? How did different internationalist institutions and movements trigger terms like integration, international, and global? How does global history contribute to the study of international movements?