Publications of Smelser, N.J.

Al-Azmeh A. Islamic Fundamentalism. In: Smelser NJ, Baltes PB, editors. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Amsterdam: Elsevir; 2001. p. 7931-4.
Al-Azmeh A. Civilization, Concept and History of. In: Smelser NJ, Baltes PB, editors. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2001. p. 1903-9.

Civilization, Concept and History of

The concept of civilization as it is recognizable today, emerged with the rise of historical consciousness in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and achieved global spread in the twentieth century. Civilization came to constitute a primary unit of historical discourse, in association with cognate terms such as culture, quite apart from its indication of certain morphological features of human society, such as urbanism. Broadly conceived, the notion of civilization has served two schemas of world history, the one universalist and evolutionist, and the other particularistic and vitalist. Both notions have ideological implications, and were often deployed in conflicts between universalist-progressivist and conservative-nationalist political creeds, the former laying emphasis on the normative and morphological continuities in human societies, while the latter stressed openness to historical becoming as well as societal and historical transformism. Quite apart from the normative implications of both notions, the one valorizing abiding resources of particularist national and civilizational character and the other speaking for an open notion of progress, recent historical research has rendered possible the concrete and properly historical consideration of the notion of historical continuity beyond the boundaries of the ideological commitment of the two notions of civilization that have profoundly marked the categorization of historical material and historical periodization in general.

Klaniczay G. The Middle Ages. In: Smelser NJ, Baltes PB, editors. International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences. New York: Elsevier; 2001. p. 9785-92.

The Middle Ages

Situated between antiquity and Modernity, the Middle Ages constitute an intermediate period between the grand beginnings of European civilization and its contemporary achievements. An intermediate status is always ambivalent. Thinking in strictly dualistic terms, it is no longer the old and not yet the new, or, conversely, it allows the partial survival of the old and prepares the birth of the new. This article addresses three aspects: (a) the extension of European Middle Ages is both related to different periodization schemes of universal and national history, and situated in a geographical dimension. With the Roman Empire and christianigy as basic points of reference, this notion, born in Renaissance Italy and nurtured in Western Europe, has always embraced more than Europa Occidens. Besides a reconsideration of the North–South divide the specific medieval features of East-Central—the ‘borderlands of Western civilization’—are described well. For presenting these multiple and changing identities two methods are adopted: (b) the characterization of economic, social, and mental structures as debated by recent historiography, and (c) a historical chronology of narratives, personalities, and artifacts for adding life and color.

Rieber AJ. Frontiers in History. In: Smelser NJ, Baltes PB, editors. International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences. Vol 9. New York: Elsevier Science; 2001. p. 5812-8.
Sajó A. Socialist Law. In: Baltes PB, Smelser NJ, editors. International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences. Oxford, U.K.: Pergamon; 2001. p. 14493-6.