Resource title

The eternal divide?: history and international relations

Resource image

image for OpenScout resource :: The eternal divide?: history and international relations

Resource description

On one level, history is used by all parts of the International Relations (IR) discipline. But lurking beneath the surface of IR’s approach to history lies a well-entrenched binary. Whereas mainstream positions use history as a means to fill in their theoretical frames (seeing history as a kind of ‘scripture’ of abstract lessons), many post-positivists reduce history to a pick-and-mix of contingent hiccups (a ‘butterfly’ of what-ifs and maybes). Interestingly enough, this binary is one reproduced throughout the social sciences. As such, there is a bigger story to the apparently ‘eternal divide’ between history and social science than first meets the eye. This article uses the various ways in which history is used — and abused — in IR to probe more deeply into the relationship between history and social science as a whole. This exploration reveals four frameworks, two drawn from history (context and narrative) and two drawn from social science (eventfulness and ideal-typification) which illustrate the necessary co-implication of the two enterprises. The article employs these tools as a means of re-imagining the relationship between history and social science (including IR), conceiving this as a single intellectual journey in which both are permanently in view.

Resource author

Resource publisher

Resource publish date

Resource language

en

Resource content type

Resource resource URL

http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/41575/

Resource license