Anachronistic Research in International Relations and Security Studies

de Wilde, J. H., 2017, Rethinking Security in the Twenty-First Century. Jacob, E. D. (ed.). New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, p. 29-40 12 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

Anachronisms are widely used in the social sciences and humanities, yet hardly studied. The construction of historical narratives is problematic due to the projection of contemporary thinking. Even more problematic is the use of historical analogies for future planning. Projection of nineteenth century state-centric geopolitical thinking is especially problematic, reifying an exceptional period in European history that culminated in two world wars. Still, anachronistic thinking is unavoidable, both in trying to understand the past and in trying to plan for the future. Therefore, the awareness of anachronisms needs to be raised, and the arsenal of “lessons from history” needs to be expanded to enrich the options for developing new security policies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Security in the Twenty-First Century
EditorsEdwin Daniel Jacob
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherPalgrave MacMillan
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-52542-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-52541-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • anachronism; history and international relations; geopolitics; state-centrism; security discourses; European integration discourse

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