Two Types of Applied History

Analogy and Genealogy

In: Journal of Applied History
Jay Mens Harvard Kennedy School Cambridge, MA USA

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In recent years, a concerted effort has been made to build up and delineate a discipline of applied history. But there has been little discussion about what applied history is, how the discipline navigates a range of epistemological problems, and how applied history is distinct from other disciplines that use historical data and attend to matters of policy—particularly political science. This article considers some of these questions with respect to two common methods of applied history: analogy and genealogy. It applies these methods to understand two contemporary issues in the Middle East: the shadow war between Israel and Iran, and maritime tensions between Greece and Turkey.

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