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Towards a Global Intellectual History of an Unequal World

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How have intellectuals from around the world thought about inequality in the world? In light of the call for a less Eurocentric history of ideas as well as recent debates about global inequality, this article introduces a special issue on the global intellectual history of an unequal world. The issue supplements the already available scholarship in at least four ways: it delves further into other kinds of inequalities than first and foremost economic inequality; it historicises key concepts in the intellectual history of an unequal world; it incorporates fine-grained analysis of indigenous languages and concepts; it extends the analysis of historical inequality vocabularies to how inequalities were critiqued. Moreover, this introduction sheds lights on possible methodological approaches for an intellectual history of global inequality. There is a need to go against a modular approach to the history of ideas to embrace the dialectic between the specific situatedness of our topics of research and ‘global’ contexts. Questions of transfer, circulation, connections, or diffusion of ideas need to be asked on an empirical case to case basis. We therefore propose location, temporality and legitimisation/critique as key analytical concepts when exploring historical thinking on an unequal world
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Intellectual History
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2022

    Research areas

  • global intellectual history, an unequal world, inequality, global inequality, eurocentrism, indigenous languages

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