South-eastern Europe and comparative European history suggests new research perspectives on Southeast European history, envisaging it as a comprehensive part of European history. The debate about the mental map of "the Balkans" as the negative alter ego of the "West" (Maria Todorova), on the one hand, and the construction of the Balkans as a historical space sui generis (Holm Sundhaussen), on the other, provide the framework for the reflections presented here. The article proposes the following methodological lines for the inclusion of the Balkans in European history writing: 1) research in social history, based on solid empirical evidence, informed by cultural history, and embedded in European history by including comparison, transfer, and entanglement; 2) research that focuses on the perspectives of the actors, as opposed to the hitherto dominant research on structures and collectives; 3) research that enquires into "life worlds", i.e. milieu, networks, and other micro-situations, that make possible a more thorough examination of how, in given social contexts, meaning was conferred and constructed.
Keywords: Europa sudorientale, storia comparata europea, storia sociale, storia culturale