Jewish politics

History and historiographical implications

Authored by: Simon Rabinovitch

The Routledge Companion to Jewish History and Historiography

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138193611
eBook ISBN: 9780429458927
Adobe ISBN:


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Once the primary focus of historical research and writing, the discussion and relevance of politics in history has evolved appreciably over the past several decades. Indeed, how we understand the nature of “politics” has changed dramatically. And political history itself has become increasingly multidisciplinary, even as other historical methodologies have explored what used to be its central issues and concerns. Social historians, for example, now regularly examine “social capital,” political culture, the public sphere, hegemony and resistance, and ideology and discourse (see Chapters 37 and 40). Finally, theorizing about imperialism and “postcolonialism” has been taken up in critical literary theory as well as in “new cultural history” (see Chapter 45). 1 Although overarching or globalizing theories and grand narratives have fallen somewhat out of favor among historians, many approaches that were once mainstays of political history—such as Marxism (see Chapters 37 and 40)—have themselves been transformed in order to address contemporary concerns and new themes. Along with other trends, examining the politics of the masses, women, and marginalized people, and studying political discourse utilizing methods taken from literary studies, has helped to reframe political history for the past generation or so of scholars. 2

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