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III Congreso Internacional Historia a Debate Santiago de Compostela

III Congreso Internacional Historia a Debate
Santiago de Compostela, 14-18 de julio de 2004


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[Idek News letter, n17, 2005]


Report on the 3rd International Congress "HISTORY UNDER DEBATE"

For VLADIMIR ROUVINSK (Doctoral student and JSPS Reseach Fellow, World Order)



In July, one of the leading Spanish universities the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) hosted the III International Congress "History under Debate", in which IDEC was represented by a doctoral student of the socio-political dynamics course. The History under Debate is a network of historians, political scientist, andrepresentatives of other disciplines, which brings together professionals from all over the world in order to enable a fruitful exchange of ideas among its members beyond the limits of the field of specialization or ideological restrictions. This initiative was launched by the USC Professor Carlos Barros more than ten years ago. Since then, some thirty thousand professionals in all five continents have joined the History under Debate network, which became a permanent on-line forum (www.h-debate.com) for debates in times of critical discussions on methodology, historiography and the theory of history generated not only by a renewed interest to history by general public but also by an intensive use of the historical knowledge by politicians.
The main principles of History under Debate have been outlined as 18 methodogical proposals in the Manifesto, the document which is revised after each of the international congresses held in the years that correspond to the years of Xacobeo pilgrimage to the city of Santiago. One of the most interesting projects conducted within the History under Debate frame work is the international inquiry "The State of History" aimed at achieving a better understanding both in quantitative and qualitative termsof the current situation with history as a scientific discipline.

The third congress witnessed extensive discussions of a number of topics such as the terrorist attacks in New York and Madrid, the war in Iraq, globalization and the expansion of the European Union. Opened by a plenary lecture by Etienne Bloch, son of Marc Bloch the French historian whose name is associated with an historicalapproach called the Annales School, the congress then turned to the contemporary issues, following the emotional address by Prof. Andre Gunder Frank, one of the fathers of the dependency theory and the autor of "ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age". The Congress' major debates were broadcasted live in Internet, and some five thousand people joined the congress in the cyber-space. Divided into a dozen thematic sections ("Globalization, Anti-globalization, History", The State, Civil Society and History", "The End of History, Today", "East and West" among the others) and with more than 100 presentations made during the five days of the congress, the History under Debate reconfirmed its position as one of today's the most important academic references in the field of historical inquiry.

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