Call for Book Chapters: “History as Political Theory: History, Time, and Political Action”

Vernon Press invites chapter proposals for an edited volume entitled "History as Political Theory: History, Time, and Political Action" edited by Dr. Anthony Sparacino.

History is often at the center of political conflicts, in more ways than one. Political actors often attempt to legitimize their actions by situating their activities in time — at a time of new beginnings or at an era’s (if not history’s) end, or in a period of crisis or emergency. Political rhetoric often draws for persuasive power on narratives of progress or decline, on the need to uphold traditional values, or the need to depart from historically rooted practices. Political thinkers often find strategic insight in views of time as gradual and incremental motion, or as punctuated by dramatic and decisive shifts. Interpretations of the past thus motivate elected officials and non-state actors alike, for whom the past, present, and future are each available to be both invoked and defined.

The purpose of this volume is to explore history and time as key categories for understanding both political thought and practice. While treating ideas historically has long been a core feature of political theory, our aim is to explore history as an idea — as the substance of the thought, rather than the method of its reconstruction. And while time is a familiar element of political science — which looks at data in time series, or examines institutions over the course of their development — we seek to understand how history and time are conceptualized and used within politics, rather than from the outside by the political observer.

We are seeking papers that examine the use of history and time as theory in numerous contexts. We welcome submissions from political theorists and scholars of American and comparative politics as well as international relations. We also welcome submissions from those in other disciplines, including history and rhetoric. In summary, we hope to receive submissions that cover a wide range of cultural and historical contexts.

Potential topics for papers include, but are certainly not limited to:


  • State actions regulating the teaching of history
  • The invocation of periods of crisis in legitimating state action
  • The deployment of religious narratives in revolutionary movements
  • The use of “revisionism” in debates over the invocation of history

Interested authors can submit their abstracts (500 words), and a short biography (100 words) to the book editor, to Dr. Anthony Sparacino at, by September 30, 2023. 
Once selected, submissions should be roughly 6000-8000 words in length and follow Chicago Manual Author-Date citation formatting.

This proposal is due on September 30th 2023.

Page last updated on September 6th 2023. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.