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The Politics of Time

Zeitgeist in Early Nineteenth-Century Political Discourse

Theo Jung

This article traces the uses of zeitgeist in early nineteenth-century European political discourse. To explain the concept's explosive takeoff in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, two perspectives are combined. On the one hand, the concept is shown to be a key element in the new, “temporalized” discourses of cultural reflection emerging during this time. On the other, its pragmatic value as a linguistic tool in concrete political constellations is outlined on the basis of case studies from French, British, and German political discourse. Developing this two-sided perspective, the article sheds light on an important aspect of early nineteenth-century political discourse while also pointing to some general considerations concerning the relationship between the semantic and pragmatic analysis of historical language use.

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Theo Jung and Javier Fernández Sebastián

Matthias Kroß and Rüdiger Zill, eds., Metapherngeschichten. Perspektiven einer Theorie der Unbegrifflichkeit [Histories of Metaphor: Perspectives of a Theory of Nonconceptuality] (Berlin: Parerga Verlag, 2011), 259 pp.

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Theo Jung, Cristian Roiban, Gregor Feindt, Alexandra Medzibrodszky, Henna-Riikka Pennanen and Anna Björk

Ernst Müller and Falko Schmieder, Begriffsgeschichte und historische Semantik: Ein kritisches Kompendium (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2016), 1,027 pp.

Jörn Leonhard and Willibald Steinmetz, eds., Semantiken von Arbeit: Diachrone und vergleichende Perspektive (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2016), 413 pp.

Balázs Trencsényi, Maciej Janowski, Mónika Baár, Maria Falina, and Michal Kopeček, A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe, Volume I: Negotiating Modernity in the “Long Nineteenth Century” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 687 pp.

Yasuhiro Matsui, ed., Obshchestvennost’ and Civic Agency in Late Imperial and Soviet Russia: Interface between State and Society (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), xi + 234 pp.

Riccardo Bavaj and Martina Steber, eds., Germany and “the West”: The History of a Modern Concept (New York: Berghahn Books, 2015), 328 pp.

Lauren Banko, The Invention of Palestinian Citizenship, 1918–1947 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 278 pp.