Historical memory, democratic citizenship, and political theory: Reconstructing a historical method in Judith Shklar’s writings

Sihang Simon Luo
Publication Date
Jan 14, 2021
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Judith Shklar has been invoked by contemporary realists as an example of how history is a better source of political knowledge than abstract philosophy. This emphasis on history challenges the predominant understanding of her political theory that stresses the universality of fear of cruelty. This contrast between history and moral universalism invites a serious investigation of Shklar's historical method. This article takes up this task by reconstructing a Shklarian historical method based on a tripartite relation between historical memory, democratic citizenship, and historically minded political theory. This reconstructed historical method challenges the boundaries of Shklar's liberalism and broadens the possibilities that her political theory can offer.

Citation

Luo, S. S. (2021). Historical memory, democratic citizenship, and political theory: Reconstructing a historical method in Judith Shklar’s writings. European Journal of Political Theory. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474885120987762