With its ascendancy in American political discourse during the past few years, hope has become a watchword of politics, yet the rhetoric has failed to inquire into the actual function of hope in political life. This essay examines elpis, the Greek word for ‘‘hope,’’ in Thucydides’ History and offers a theoretical account of this concept and its connection to successful political action. I suggest that a complex understanding of hope structures Thucydides’ narrative: Hope counts as among the most dangerous political delusions, yet it also offers the only possible response to despair. Thucydides’ text educates the judgment of his readers, chastening hope while showing its importance despite its flaws. The History thus offers an alternative for considering the politics of hope, one that challenges hope’s ardent proponents today.Here is a link to a preview of the article. Email me at schlosser (at) deepsprings.edu and I'll happily send you the full version.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Thucydides article published
I'm thrilled to announce that my article on hope and Thucydides, entitled "'Hope, Danger's Comforter': Thucydides, Hope, Politics," has now been published by The Journal of Politics. In the abstract, I describe the article as follows: