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Nearly 2500 years ago in Greece, a new word was coined, demokratia, combining the terms demos (“the people”) and kratos (“to rule”). From the moment of its Greek inception to the present day, when nearly every nation on earth claims to be democratic, the concept of popular rule has been a site of deep contestation in Western political theory and practice. This course will examine a constellation of the thorniest and most persistent questions raised by the proposition that “the people” should “rule”: What kind of association is a democratic people--an aggregate, a unity, a multitude? Should all have an equal share in rule? Is there an appropriate size for the practice of popular rule? Can popular rule be squared with representation? With minority rights? Does popular rule require specific institutions? Specific values? Is popular rule inherently stable or, well, unruly? And perhaps most importantly, why should the people rule at all?
What Is Political Theory? by What Is Political Theory? provides students with a comprehensive overview of the current state of the discipline. Eleven substantive chapters address the most pressing topics in political theory today, including: - what resources do the classic texts still provide for political theorists? - what areas will political theorists focus on in the future? - can western political theory alone continue to provide a framework for responding to the challenges of modern political life? The authors assess the intellectual challenges to conventional political theory, such as post-structuralism and the scientific study of politics, that have revitalized the field in the last 30 years. They also broaden the perspective to take in non-western ideas and to reconceptualize political theory in the light of specifically global challenges. Students and teachers of political theory and political philosophy will find this book invaluable in understanding the factors that have shaped current political theory and which will guide its future development.
Publication Date: 2004-03-22
Politics and Vision by Politics and Vision is a landmark work by one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century. This is a significantly expanded edition of one of the greatest works of modern political theory. Sheldon Wolin's Politics and Vision inspired and instructed two generations of political theorists after its appearance in 1960. Substantially expanded for republication in 2004, it is both a sweeping survey of Western political thought and a powerful account of contemporary predicaments of power and democracy. In lucid and compelling prose, Sheldon Wolin offers original, subtle, and often surprising interpretations of political theorists from Plato to Rawls. Situating them historically while sounding their depths, he critically engages their diverse accounts of politics, theory, power, justice, citizenship, and institutions. The new chapters, which show how thinkers have grappled with the immense possibilities and dangers of modern power, are themselves a major theoretical statement. They culminate in Wolin's remarkable argument that the United States has invented a new political form, "inverted totalitarianism," in which economic rather than political power is dangerously dominant. In this expanded edition, the book that helped to define political theory in the late twentieth century should energize, enlighten, and provoke generations of scholars to come. Wolin originally wrote Politics and Vision to challenge the idea that political analysis should consist simply of the neutral observation of objective reality. He argues that political thinkers must also rely on creative vision. Wolin shows that great theorists have been driven to shape politics to some vision of the Good that lies outside the existing political order. As he tells it, the history of theory is thus, in part, the story of changing assumptions about the Good. Acclaimed as a tour de force when it was first published, and a major scholarly event when the expanded edition appeared, Politics and Vision will instruct, inspire, and provoke for generations to come.
Call Number: JA81 .W6 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-12
Citation and Style
For information on how to properly cite your work and some excellent links to guides on writing style, check out this library guide.
Understanding Political Theory
At the Edge
Brown, Wendy. 2002. “At the Edge.” Political Theory, Vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 556-576.
Political Theory, Political Science, and Politics
Grant, Ruth. 2002. "Political Theory, Political Science, and Politics." Political Theory, Vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 577-595.
Political Theory as a Vocation
Wolin, Sheldon. 1969. "Political Theory as a Vocation." American Political Science Review, Vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 1062-1082.
Political Philosophy and Philosophy
Wolin, Sheldon. 2004. "Political Philosophy and Philosophy." In Politics and Vision. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
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