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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Zelizer, Julian E. 2010. Reply to Barry Blechman. Journal of Policy History, Vol. 22, Issue. 03, p. 378.

    2005. Recent Scholarship. Journal of American History, Vol. 92, Issue. 2, p. 718.


Diplomatic History and Policy History: Finding Common Ground

  • Robert J. McMahon (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2009

It is difficult to imagine two fields of scholarly inquiry with so much in common and yet so little interaction as diplomatic and policy history. Policy, policy process, policymakers, policy origins, policy intentions, policy consequences—those terms and ones of a similar stripe roll just as easily off the tongues and word processors of diplomatic historians as of self-described policy historians. Moreover, the questions asked and the methods employed by the two groups of scholars bear a striking resemblance. Both fields focus perforce on the state and state-centered actors, concern themselves with elite-level decision making, interrogate fundamental issues of power within societies, and concentrate overwhelmingly on the twentieth century to the relative neglect of earlier periods. Each field occupies as well an embattled position within the larger historical profession, where social and cultural history have predominated since the 1960s.

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Julian E. Zelizer , “Clio's Lost Tribe: Public Policy History Since 1978,” Journal of Policy History 12 (2000): 373374.

William E. Leuchtenberg , “The Pertinence of Political History: Reflections on the Significance of the State in America,” Journal of American History 73 (121986): 585600

Steven M. Gillon , “The Future of Political History, Journal of Policy History 9 (1997): 239255.

Walter LaFeber , “The World and the United States,” American Historical Review 100 (101995): 10151024.

Robert J. McMahon , “Toward a Pluralist Vision: The Study of American Foreign Relations as International History and National History,” in Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations, ed. Michael J. Hogan and Thomas G. Paterson (2d rev. ed., New York, 2004), 3550.

Campbell Craig , “The Not-So-Strange Career of Charles Beard,” Diplomatic History 25 (Spring2001): 251274

Hugh Davis Graham , “The Stunted Career of Policy History: A Critique and an Agenda,” Public Historian 15 (Spring1993): 26.

Glen Gendzel , “Political Culture: Genealogy of a Concept,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 28 (Autumn1997): 225250.

Joel H. Silbey , “The State and Practice of American Political History at the Millennium: The Nineteenth Century as a Test Case,” Journal of Policy History 11 (1999): 26.

Sally Marks , “The World According to Washington,” Diplomatic History 11 (Summer1987): 265267, 281–282

Michael H. Hunt , “Internationalizing U.S. Diplomatic History: A Practical Agenda,” Diplomatic History 15 (Winter1991): 111.

Michael J. Hogan , ed., The Ambiguous Legacy: U.S. Foreign Relations in the “American Century” (New York, 1999)

Frank Costigliola , “‘Unceasing Urge for Penetration’: Gender, Pathology, and Emotion in George Kennan's Formation of the Cold War,” Journal of American History 83 (031997): 13091339

Michael J. Hogan , “The ‘Next Big Thing’: The Future of Diplomatic History in a Global Age,” Diplomatic History 28 (012004): 121.

Michael J. Hogan , A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945–1954 (New York, 1998).

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Journal of Policy History
  • ISSN: 0898-0306
  • EISSN: 1528-4190
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-policy-history
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