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Parallels, prescience and the past: analogical reasoning and contemporary international politics

Mumford, Andrew

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Abstract

Analogical reasoning has held a perpetual appeal to policymakers who have often drafted in historical metaphor as a mode of informing decision-making. However, this article contends that since the beginning of the ‘War on Terror’ we have arguably seen the rise of a more potent form of analogy, namely ones that are selected because they fulfil an ideological function. Analogical reasoning as a tool of rational decision-making has increasingly become replaced by analogical reasoning as a tool of trenchant ideologically-informed policy justification. This article addresses three key areas which map out the importance of analogical reasoning to an understanding of developments in contemporary international politics: the relationship between history and politics, in intellectual and policy terms; a critical assessment of the appeal that analogical reasoning holds for policymakers; and the development of a rationale for a more effective use of history in international public policymaking.

Citation

Mumford, A. (2015). Parallels, prescience and the past: analogical reasoning and contemporary international politics. International Politics, 52(1), https://doi.org/10.1057/ip.2014.40

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 11, 2013
Online Publication Date Dec 23, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Jul 15, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 15, 2016
Journal International Politics
Print ISSN 1384-5748
Electronic ISSN 1740-3898
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Issue 1
DOI https://doi.org/10.1057/ip.2014.40
Keywords analogical reasoning, war on terror, policy making, ideology, history, politics
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/35053
Publisher URL http://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/ip.2014.40
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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