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Although there is little historical evidence for a clear-cut dichotomy between Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment as two coherent and unchanging traditions, it still makes sense to talk about Enlightened as well as Counter-Enlightened currents in modern thought. Much of the extant literature has been devoted to the Counter-Enlightenment’s European context. We now draw attention to the global dimensions of Counter-Enlightened thought. Did a ‘Counter-Enlightened international’ exist? Can we draw parallels between manifestations of a Counter-Enlightenment in different parts of the world?

Open Access
In: International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity
In: Cosmopolitan Conservatisms
In: Cosmopolitan Conservatisms


With the rise to prominence of conservative, nationalist, and antiliberal ideologies across the world, the study of the transnational genesis and development of conservative and ‘anti-modern’ traditions has gained a new urgency. In this introduction, the editors examine how the application of methodologies and concepts thus far mainly reserved to the study of notions of modernity, liberalism, or progress could enhance our knowledge of (global) antidemocratic/ counter-revolutionary movements, starting in the early 18th century. This introduction (1) discusses the long-term historical transformation of conservative ideas and rhetoric through the lens of transnational connections; (2) presents conservatism as an essential part and manifestation of internationalism, cosmopolitanism, and universalism beyond their usual “liberal” or “progressive” connotations; (3) historicizes the meaning and interrelations concepts such as “conservatism”, “counterrevolution”, “the right”, “reaction, or “counter-Enlightenment” in different temporal, geographical, and linguistic contexts; and (4) demonstrates that the evolution of conservatisms is closely linked to the history of institutions, networks and mobile thinker-agents.

In: Cosmopolitan Conservatisms
In: Cosmopolitan Conservatisms
Countering Revolution in Transnational Networks, Ideas and Movements (c. 1700‒1930)
This volume presents a fresh picture of the historical development of “conservatism” from the late 17th to the early 20th century. The book explores the broader geographies and transnational dimensions of conservatism and counterrevolution. The contributions show how counterrevolutionary concepts did not emerge in isolation, but resulted from the interplay between ideas, media, networks, and institutions. Like 19th-century liberalism and socialism, conservatism was the product of traveling ideas and people. This study describes how exile, mobility, and international sociability shaped counterrevolutionary identities. The volume presents case studies on the intersection of political philosophy, scholarly practices, international politics, and governmental bureaucracies. Furthermore, Cosmopolitan Conservatisms offers new approaches to the study of conservatism, including the prisms of ecology, gender, and digital history.

Contributors are: Alicia Montoya, Carolina Armenteros, Simon Burrows,Wyger Velema, Michiel van Dam, Glauco Schettini, Nigel Aston, Brian Vick, Lien Verpoest, Beatrice de Graaf, Jean-Philippe Luis, Joep Leerssen, Amerigo Caruso, Joris van Eijnatten, Emily Jones, Aymeric Xu, and Axel Schneider.