Politics against History: Temporal Distortions in the Study of Politics



While physicists have advanced theories that directly challenged unidimensional theories of history, the social sciences have held on to older, linear conceptions of historical time, but all this should change. Politics entails the making and remaking of the past, the making and remaking of the future, the inheritance of imagined futures, the recognition of the cyclic and the repetitive, reversals of linear causality, and other strategies and effects at odds with dominant historical conventions. If we are to study politics then we must attend to the broader, less disciplined, relation of politics to history, which is the purpose of the current article.