Kropotkin’s commune and the politics of history

Peter Kropotkin’s (1842–1921) thought has often been read through the problematic tension between science and politics in his work. This paper offers a new approach to the author by assessing the influence of historians on his work. Focusing on Kropotkin’s efforts to re-imagine the ‘commune’ as an alternative to territorial states, the paper analyses his subversive usages of the Romantic historiography of Augustin Thierry and the Victorian stadial history of Henry Sumner Maine. In concluding, the article reiterates the role of historical resources in Kropotkin’s imaginations of a libertarian socialist commune and calls for further engagement with his thought on the politics of history.