Engaging the Past

The Uses of History Across the Social Sciences

Engaging the Past

Book Pages: 208 Illustrations: Published: April 1994

Anthropology, Sociology

Vigorous historical exploration has increased across the social sciences in the past two decades. Originally published as a series of articles in the journal Social Science History, the essays in this volume provide a guide to historical social science by surveying the use of historical data and methodologies in anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, and geography.
Each essay in Engaging the Past pays close attention to the unique problems and methods associated with its particular social scientific discipline. By exploring questions raised by both contemporary and more established works within each field, the authors show that some of the best and most innovative research in each of the social sciences includes a strong historical component. Thus, as Eric H. Monkkonen’s introduction shows, these essays taken together make it clear that historical research provides a significant key to many of the major issues in the social sciences.
Intended for the growing community of both social scientists and historians interested in reading or researching historically informed social science, Engaging the Past suggests future directions that might be taken by this work. Above all, by providing a set of user’s guides written by respected social scientists, it encourages future boundary crossings between history and each of the social sciences.

Contributors. Andrew Abbott, Richard Dennis, Susan Kellog, Eric H. Monkkonen, David Brian Robertson, Hugh Rockoff


"How pertinent, as well as refreshing, to see the recent historical turn in each of the social sciences not only identified but thoughtfully analyzed." — Leon Fink, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"The past twenty-five years have witnessed a remarkable upsurge of historical research—and historical thinking—across the social sciences, transforming knowledge about phenomena ranging from capitalist development, to welfare states, to professions and organizations. The essays collected here range from the comprehensive to the quirky. They chart many of the rich insights of historical social science, and display the challenges and limits of interdisciplinary dialogue. Students and teachers alike will find this collection a vital recource, as they chart new frontiers for theory and investigation." — Theda Skocpol, Harvard University


Availability: In stock
Price: $24.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Eric H. Monkkonen is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction / Eric H. Monkkonen 1

Histories for Anthropology: Ten Years of Historical Research and Writing by Anthropologists, 1980-1990 / Susan Kellogg 9

History and Economics / Hugh Rockoff 48

History and Sociology: The Lost Synthesis / Andrew Abbott 77

Politics and the Past: History, Behavioralism, and the Return to Institutionalism in American Political Science / David Brian Robertson 113

History and Geography: At the Intersection of Time an Space / Richard Dennis 154

Index 189
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1440-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1431-8
Publicity material