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Introduction

  • Nicolas Guilhot
Chapter
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought book series (PMHIT)

In an autobiographical lecture given in 1987, the cultural historian Carl Schorske reminisced that when a new and abstract theoretical mood took over the disciplines in the 1950s, turning them away from historical modes of understanding—a process he called “the dehistoricization of academic culture”—intellectual history became the repository for the study of “previously significant thinkers” who had “lost their relevance and stature” in what had been so far their natural disciplinary habitat. The intellectual historian, Schorske claimed, became a “residuary legatee” at the deathbed of the history of philosophy, economic thought, or social theory (Schorske 1987). One could easily add political science and international relations (IR) to the list. Starting in the 1950s, IR theory, especially that being developed in the United States, sought to assert its legitimacy as a social science by shedding entirely its historicist past. Even though historians often played a major role in...

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Guilhot
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueParisFrance

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