E. H. Carr pp 322-336 | Cite as

E.H. Carr and the Historical Mode of Thought

  • Randall Germain


E.H. Carr occupies a most peculiar position among the handful of scholars whose intellectual legacies dominate the discipline of International Relations. He is first and foremost associated with the initial articulation of realism in the twentieth century, and his seminal text in this regard — The Twenty Years’ Crisis — is read everywhere as one of the earliest and clearest expositions of a self-conscious realist discourse. For most International Relations scholars and teachers, therefore, he is intimately bound up with the origins of the discipline as a distinct field of inquiry. Yet, as a scholar Carr refused throughout his long working life to return to the themes marked out in The Twenty Years’ Crisis, preferring instead to treat that part of his intellectual development as a closed book. Indeed, from 1944 until his death nearly 40 years later, his primary preoccupation — one might even call it a fixation — was either writing about history (in his case Soviet history in the 1920s) or reflecting about the nature of the historical enterprise.


International Relation World Order Historical Approach International Politics Human Affair 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Randall Germain

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