The political implementation of ideas. For a social history of ideas in a partisan environment

The political implementation of ideas
By Thibaut Rioufreyt


This article is an introduction to the thematic dossier on the political implementation of ideas, i.e., the processes by which they are produced, circulated, and/or appropriated in a partisan environment. Beyond the presentation of the various contributions, it aims to show what the social history of political ideas can contribute to the understanding of the place, value, and uses of ideas within or at the margins of political parties in the contemporary period. Focusing on the study of minor intellectual literatures, it takes political ideas seriously by showing that they are also practices that should be analyzed according to a specific methodology. Seeking to analyze both the social properties of actors and the inherent logic of social spaces, in addition to taking into account historicity, this article consists of an undertaking to contextualize political ideas that breaks with the thoughtless continuities at the heart of the history of classical ideas such as the author, the work, the influence, or the tradition. Finally, in order to understand the uses made of it by various actors, it contributes to opening the black box of the production and appropriation of partisan ideas.


  • social history of political ideas
  • political parties
  • context
  • appropriation
  • uses
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