Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor; Political Science, Faculty of Law and Theology, Shahid Bahonar University


Bielefeld's historians, along with other important historiographical schools, have achieved success in the second half of the 20th century in providing a new approach for studying social phenomena. In this approach, historians, with the emphasis on the theory of social science, believe that the study of structures, generalities, and trends in a particular time period, especially contemporary, should be on the agenda of the historian of society. Consequently, the study of other dimensions of phenomena should be in parentheses. The article claims that the above-mentioned approach can have important implications for the historiography of ideas, in the broad sense of the word, and political thought in Iran: Important epistemic implications, such as linking ideas and society, emphasizing the study of trends shaping ideas, and finally, focusing on the general and collective structures of ideas. But in the ontological notions, the above-mentioned approach does not take precedence over the existence of ideas, and in methodological implications, the use of quantitative methods by this approach can not be a way to understand political ideas in general. Thus, the Bielefeld approach epistemically in some cases can have important implications for the history of political ideas, especially in Iran. However, in terms of an ontological and methodological approach, in the context of the historiography of ideas, its implications must be subjected to modest adjustments, in order to provide a sufficient understanding of historical phenomena in Iran.


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Volume 50, Issue 1
April 2020
Pages 211-228
  • Receive Date: 16 October 2017
  • Revise Date: 30 December 2017
  • Accept Date: 30 December 2017
  • First Publish Date: 20 March 2020