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Denunciation as a subject of historical research

Denunziation als Thema der historischen Forschung
[journal article]

Gellately, Robert

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-31478

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Abstract Der Beitrag umreißt den gegenwärtigen Stand und die Defizite der geschichtswissenschaftlichen Forschung zum Phänomen der Denunziation. Der Autor betont zunächst die definitorischen Abgrenzungsprobleme zu anderen, vergleichbaren Verhaltensformen und weist in diesem Kontext auf das amerikanische whistle-blowing hin, das als Bürgerinitiative erwünscht und anerkannt ist. Nach einem knappen Abriss der europäischen Geschichte von Überwachungssystemen und formellen und informellen Formen sozialer Kontrolle wird für einen Paradigmawechsel in der Denunziationsforschung plädiert, der sich auf ein interaktives Modell von Macht, Staat, Herrschaft und abweichendem Verhalten stützt. Dieser Ansatz betont das Gewicht des alltäglichen Handelns von Einzelnen in demokratischen wie autoritären Systemen. Das vorliegende 'rethinking' von Macht und Herrschaft orientiert sich im wesentlichen an Foucaults Konzept der Disziplinargesellschaft. (ICA)

'As Europe's new police and surveillance systems were introduced in the late 18th and early 19th century, an integral role in their everyday operation was played by the provision of information from the population at large. Modern surveillance societies came into being over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries as citizens - for a whole host of reasons - began to watch and listen, and then to inform the 'authorities' about deviations they witnessed. More authoritarian regimes require more, not less, social involvement in surveillance and control. For one thing they want to control more aspects of social life. Until recently, denunciations were at best considered marginal, even by most social historians. But historiography filled that gap in the last decade. It has moved this social phenomenon from the margin of the stories to the centre and produced quite different pictures, especially with regard to Nazi Germany.' (author's abstract)
Keywords deviant behavior; democracy; dictatorship; research status; science of history; domination; historical development; power; Nazism; social control; denunciation
Classification Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Political Science; Social History, Historical Social Research; Law
Method descriptive study; historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2001
Page/Pages p. 16-29
Journal Historical Social Research, 26 (2001) 2/3
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
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