Time and history in International Relations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter complements efforts to clarify historical International Relations’s use of the past by surveying its use of time. Scholars traditionally treated time and history as rough and ready concepts rather than carefully thought out terms of art. While this has changed in recent years, several issues persist. Widely popular but spurious temporal dichotomies like linear/cyclical and change/continuity exert outsized influence on the discipline’s temporal imagination, leading scholars to mistake interpretive responses to the problem of time for natural qualities of time itself. IR’s temporal turn has added significant temporal variety and made a compelling case that global politics is heterotemporal, but does not convincingly unsettle these traditional habits of thought. The fact that IR scholars interested in history and time do not engage each other as much as they could exacerbates these issues. Therefore, the chapter closes by proposing three ways forward toward closer dialogue between temporal and historical IR: narrative timing, temporalizing IR’s own history, and historicizing the politics of time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Historical International Relations
EditorsBenjamin de Carvalho, Julia Costa Lopez, Halvard Leira
ISBN (Print)9780815347644
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Nov 2020


  • history
  • historical international relations
  • time
  • timing
  • history of time

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Time and history in International Relations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this