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Identity-defining Practices in Thucydides’: History of the Peloponnesian War
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
1997 (English)In: European Journal of International Relations, ISSN 1354-0661, E-ISSN 1460-3713, Vol. 3, no 2, 147-165 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

If different identities and national characters matter in explaining foreign policy choices and outcomes, as some studies of Thucydides suggest, then it must be important to understand how these identities and characteristics are created and maintained. This article addresses the problem of collective identity formation in Thucydides' narrative from a rhetorical point of view. The analysis focuses on identitydefining practices, i.e. discursive practices which serve to delineate collective subjects.  It is demonstrated that the Peloponnesian War is comprehensible not only in conventional political terms as a struggle over territory, trading interests or leadership, but also as a struggle over identity in which the foundations of collective identification provide both an exploitable resource and a bone of contention per se. Superimposed on other levels of conflict, the issue of collective identification emerges as a sometimes unconscious yet always central concern to Thucydides and the leadeaes of his time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 1997. Vol. 3, no 2, 147-165 p.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-86410DOI: 10.1177/1354066197003002001OAI: diva2:576991
Available from: 2012-12-14 Created: 2012-12-14 Last updated: 2013-01-04

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Jansson, Per
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