Reading history through constructivist eyes

Reus-Smit, Christian (2008) Reading history through constructivist eyes. Millennium - Journal of International Studies, 37 2: 395-414. doi:10.1177/0305829808097647


Author Reus-Smit, Christian
Title Reading history through constructivist eyes
Journal name Millennium - Journal of International Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-8298
1477-9021
Publication date 2008-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0305829808097647
Volume 37
Issue 2
Start page 395
End page 414
Total pages 20
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Abstract Since the end of the Cold War there has been a renaissance in the study of history by International Relations scholars. Constructivists have been at the forefront of this rediscovery, turning to historical inquiry to highlight the contingent meaning and evolution of a myriad of international practices, processes, and social structures. To what extent, however, is this work informed by a distinctive philosophy of history, explicit or implicit? Do constructivists read history in a particular way? If so, what are the contours of their approach? This article takes up these questions, arguing that constructivist history is essentially ‘Skinnerian’ in nature, marking it off from realist-materialist histories, on the one hand, and histories of ideas, on the other. To illustrate this approach I end with a brief constructivist reading of the constitutional crisis that beset the Spanish Empire in the aftermath of the Napoleonic invasion and usurpation in 1808.
Keyword Constructivism
History
Skinner
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
 
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