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Why and How History Matters

Social History, Political Contention

The article argues that all political analysis requires serious consideration of the historical context. Tilly outlines several reasons why history matters to political analysis: (a) political analysis makes assumptions about historical origins of phenomenon and time-place scope conditions; (b) some features of political processes occur outside the observation of human participants and thus require historical reconstruction; (c) political processes incorporate local cultures which are historical determined; (d) political processes are influenced by external factors (i.e. neighboring countries) that change over time; (e) and path dependency strongly influences political processes.