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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The canon of political theory rarely deals with Eastern European political thought, either as a regional category or in relation to particular thinkers. The omission has to do with both the current focus on historiography and the assumptions that underlie political theory methods concerning the creation of a canon. This chapter explores how the geopolitical category of Eastern Europe has imposed a hegemonic interpretation of political thought, relegating Eastern European thinkers to a particular and subaltern niche in European studies. To illustrate the argument, the chapter briefly invokes the example of Vaclav Havel’s political thought and its reception. The discussion is meant to serve as a springboard to propose a reconsideration of both the study of political theory (and its canon) and the East–West duality as an analytical category.

Keywords: Eastern Europe, political thought, Vaclav Havel, East–West, orientalism

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