The Idea of American Exceptionalism: A Cultural and Social History

The project addresses current public and academic debates over U.S. Exceptionalism, which casts United States’ historical development outside the normal path of history. It treats the topic, not as a set of substantive empirical propositions to be challenged, but as the cultural and social history of an idea. 

Professor Tyrrell’s research details the evolution of Exceptionalism and how its religious, economic and political content changed over time. It brings a fresh perspective to understanding U.S – Australian relations and analyses the historical conditions promoting (and challenging) Exceptionalism as belief and national identity.

Funding Agency

Australian Research Council / Discovery Project (DP150103660)


Scientia Professor Ian Tyrrell

Organisational units