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History and Political Theory: A Difficult Reunion
Abstract

Abstract:

This short essay reflects on the relationship between the disciplines of history and political theory. It argues that there exists a divide between them, and that it is difficult to bridge. On one side, historians tend to be empirically sophisticated but theory-averse, according to the motto that “thinking is not their profession.” While theorists, on the other side, have learned from some intellectual historians to take context seriously, the results typically remain an idealist political theory that avoids broader historical contextualization, and thus forestalls disciplinary reunion.