By Stephanie Lawson (auth.)
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Extra resources for Culture and Context in World Politics
At least one purpose of a contextualist approach in the history of ideas is to provide an antidote to the crimes of anachronism. In summary these are: falsely assuming a continuity with the past; projecting one’s own values back into the past in order to pass moral judgement on historical figures, movements, ideas or beliefs; or interpreting the past inappropriately for the purpose of legitimating something in the present. Contextualism is also concerned to denounce universalism in historiography, especially the belief that there are eternal debates over perennial issues or that there are timeless truths.
Recognition that something is changeable and not given by nature, however, does not necessarily make change easy, especially for those subject to, rather than in control of, the levers of power. 43 This has implications World Politics and the Cultural Turn 25 for how ‘culture’ is viewed as a structure within which members of a cultural community are formed and from which they gain their values, beliefs and identities. 44 Contextualism, which incorporates elements of constructivism, represents another version of the cultural turn.
These signifiers reverberate throughout much of twentiethcentury philosophy. 12 This is part of the more general body of thought known as cultural theory, itself a multidisciplinary enterprise with no fixed location in the human sciences. 14 Another interdisciplinary enterprise with a strong interest in culture, but which is attuned more explicitly to world politics and history, is postcolonial theory. 21 But that is not the only problem, for the Orientalist framework, inverted, is readily made Occidentalist – a theme recurring throughout this study.
Culture and Context in World Politics by Stephanie Lawson (auth.)