Anna Maria Forssberg, Mats Hallenberg, Orsi Husz, and Jonas Nordin, Eds. Organizing History: Studies in Honour of Jan Glete

By Slind, Marvin G. | Scandinavian Studies, Summer 2012 | Go to article overview

Anna Maria Forssberg, Mats Hallenberg, Orsi Husz, and Jonas Nordin, Eds. Organizing History: Studies in Honour of Jan Glete


Slind, Marvin G., Scandinavian Studies


Anna Maria Forssberg, Mats Hallenberg, Orsi Husz, and Jonas Nordin, eds. Organizing History: Studies in Honour of Jan Glete. Lund: Nordic Academic P, 2011. Pp. 383.

Organizing History: Studies in Honour of Jan Glete was intended to be a Festschrift marking the end of a productive scholarly career. Unfortunately, Glete's death from cancer in 2009 meant that he never read the finished tribute. Although he was able to see the table of contents shortly before Iris death, the final publication itself had to be a posthumous recognition of his work.

The volume consists of sixteen essays written by Glete's former students and colleagues. These include not only scholars from his native Sweden, but also historians from Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Spain. As with any publication of this type, it brings together disparate subjects that might not normally appear in the same volume. What ties these essays together is Glete's general approach to historical scholarship and his efforts to create a theoretical approach to organizing historical study. These provided the editors with a logical framework with which to tie the essays together.

Glete's early scholarship focused on economic and business history specifically related to industrial and financial organization. While he eventually redirected his focus from business to maritime history, he did not concentrate solely on naval history per se. Instead, he used his earlier approach of organizational theory to develop syntheses that would place naval scholarship in a broader historical perspective. This also fit within his broader theories regarding early modern state formation. While some questioned his application of market analogies to the study of state formation, they nonetheless acknowledged his contributions to broadening our understanding of that process.

Reflecting Glete's general approach to historical study, the editors have organized the essays into three main categories: "Organizations," "Norm Systems," and "Institutional Change." There is also a general overview of Glete's career, which examines the different phases of his scholarship. The book concludes with a compilation listing Glete's published and unpublished works. …

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