Various directions in regional history
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History and geography are sister sciences, though their connection is not always close. Over the last twenty years, the regional-history point of view has begun to command a place in research reports, projects, history books, conferences and other scientific outputs. Thus far, the concept is still unestablished. The new regionally oriented directions in historiography are so recent that a generally recognized orthodoxy has yet to be adopted. The various elements from localism to globalization can still be seen. What is a region? There are competing views concerning the definition and criteria. In this article, the various meanings of the concept are made more visible by studying the recent discourse of regional history. At least five main meanings can be differentiated in research literature. The regional-history discourses have different origins and they have developed independently, yet they also have much in common: National states do not have any special role in research work. Regions are interpreted as being evolutionary processes. Time and space (history and region) are connected in research questions. Borders, the roles of minorities and otherness are popular subjects of research. In a global world we have a need for this kind of vision of history, a regional history that exceeds the national level of historiography, studying regions that are not necessarily nations or its administrative subdivisions.