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Published: 07 September 1995

224 Pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195088267

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Bookseller Code (04)

The History of Political and Social Concepts

A Critical Introduction

Melvin Richter

Since the 1960s, German scholars have developed distinctive methods for writing the history of political, social, and philosophical concepts. This work is a critical introduction to this emerging genre: the history of political and social concepts, or Begriffsgeschichte. Systematically surveying political, social, and philosophical discourses and their contexts, historians of concepts track linguistically how the advent, mentalities, and effects of modernity have been conceptualized in contested forms. After assessing the programs and achievements of this genre, and analyzing extended examples of its use, the author argues the need for an analogous project to chart the careers of concepts central to the political and social vocabularies of English-speaking societies.

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