From fortune to history
in Time and world politics
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This chapter takes a closer look at the accounts of political temporality that have surfaced as narratives of repetition, progress and decline. All of them took shape in response to the specific intellectual and political circumstances of late medieval and early modern Europe. Of all of them, this chapter argues, it is the progressive narrative that has had the most significant influence on the development of understandings of world politics since the seventeenth century. This chapter assesses the grounds and implications of progressive accounts of political time in more detail in the philosophies of history of Kant, Hegel and Marx. It also suggests that the kind of historicism that came to dominate the study of world history and politics in the nineteenth century followed from a ‘closed’ reading of the philosophy of history that reflected the influence of Darwin's evolutionary theory.

Time and world politics

Thinking the present

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