Welcome to the website of the European Society for the History of Political Thought!


Political theorizing has been one of the most distinctive elements in Europe’s vast cultural heritage. It is an important source of inspiration in the shaping of our political institutions and our cultural attitudes, and remains central to the development of “the European project” at the outset of the twenty-first century. Over the past few decades, the historical study of this legacy has established itself as an important academic discipline, cultivated in most European countries. Academic training programs have been launched in the field, important individual and collaborative research projects have led to a huge array of important publications, and seminal debates about theoretical and methodological issues evolving from the study of the history of political thought have been fertilizing the approaches of the social sciences and the humanities in general. (See further: Rationale.)

The European Society for the History of Political Thought intends to contribute to the further progress of the field by providing a platform for international academic communication in the field, and a dialogue between established academics and scholars in the earlier stages of their career. We do this by establishing and maintaining a network of exchange and information, as a liaison among strategic institutional partners where the field has a strong presence, about news and events in the field by this website, by organizing regular (biannual) conferences, by participating in other events, and by publications. (See further: Aims.)

The Society was established at two meetings at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, in September 2008 and March 2009, by a group of scholars from Britain, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. This Founding Committee convened the inaugural conference, also held at the EUI in July 2009. The first General Assembly of the ESHPT also took place during the inaugural conference. It established the Society’s operational rules, transformed the Founding Committee into an Executive Committee, elected the Society’s first President and other officers, and appointed an Audit Committee. The Society is registered with a public notary in Florence.

 In the launching of the Society, the generous support of the EUI and its President at that time, Yves Meny, who recognized the centrality of the field to the mission of the institution led by him, is kindly acknowledged.

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