Write a note on contemporary political theory.

Write a note on contemporary political theory.

Political Theory

Political Theory helps us better understand the concepts contemporary political theory. that have shaped our politics, including freedom, equality, individuality, democracy and justice. Importantly, Political Theory is the part of Political Science that explores what a better political world would look like and how we can create it. Contemporary political theory Political Theory thus frequently involves critiques of our present political reality, and may even take explicitly political positions.

Indeed, whether we study philosophical treatises, political pamphlets or speeches, Political Theory always involves a reflection on one’s own and others’ political principles. Contemporary political theory The hope is that such critical reflection can contribute to all of us becoming more engaged citizens.

Political theory is not only a theory of about politics, it is also the science of politics, the philosophy of politics at that. As a theory, Bluhen explains, political theory “stands for an abstract model of the political order… a guide to the systematic collection and analysis of political data” (Theories of Political System, 1981). Andrew Hacker, enlarging the point of view, says that political theory as a “theory, in ideal terms, is dispassionate and disinterested.contemporary political theory As science, it will describe political reality without trying to pass judgement on what is being depicted, either implicitly or explicitly. As philosophy, it will describe rules of conduct which will secure good life for all of society…” (Political Theory: Philosophy, Ideology, Science, 1961).contemporary political theory Political theory is not fantasy, though it may contain an element of political vision. It is not politicking, though it does take into account political realities for its study and analysis. It is not all scientism, though it seeks to reach the roots of all political activity analytically and systematically. It is not ideology, though it attempts to justify a political system and condemns another. It is theoretical, scientific, contemporary political theory philosophical and at the same time dynamic with a clear objective of attaining a better social order. It thus, has in varying degrees, elements of ‘theory’, ‘science’, ‘philosophy’ and ‘ideology’.

Contemporary Political Theory

Highlighting the characteristic features of contemporary political theory, David Held refers to the following:

(i) Contemporary political theory has been viewed as the history of political thought, involving an attempt to examine the significance of text in their historical context.

(ii) It has sought to revitalise the discipline as a form of conceptual analysis, and in the process, finding political theory as a systematic reflection upon, and classification of, the meanings of the key forms and concepts such as sovereignty, democracy, justice and the like.

(iii) It has been developed as the systematic elaboration of the underlying structure of our moral and political activities; the disclosure, examination and reconstruction of the foundations of political value.

(vi) It has been revitalised as a form of argument concerned with abstract theoretical questions and particular political issues.

(v) It has been championed as a critique of all forms of foundationalism, either the post-modernists or the liberal defenders. Contemporary political theory It, accordingly, presents itself as a stimulant to dialogue and to conversation among human beings.

(vi) It has been elaborated as a form of systematic model building influenced by theoretical economics, rational choice theory and game theory; it aims to construct formal models of political processes.Contemporary political theory

(vii) It has developed as the theoretical enterprise of the discipline of Political Science. As such it attempts to construct theory on the basis of observation and modest empirical generalisations. Contemporary political theory is mainly concerned with the explanation, investigation and ultimately, with the comprehension of what relates to politics: concepts, principles and institutions.

Brian Barry (Political Argument, 1965) says that political theory attempts to “study the relation between principles and institutions”. John Rawls (A Theory of Justice, 1971) thinks that political theory can seek truth alongside the scientificempirical methods. Robert Nozick (Anarchy, State and Utopia, 1974) believes that contemporary political theory can solve many political problems by combining the classical ends with empirical means. contemporary political theory The consensus, for example, is that empirical analysis and reflections of a logical and moral character can coexist in political theory. contemporary political theory David Held sums up by saying that contemporary political theory is: “first, the philosophical concerned, above all, with the conceptual and normative; second, the empirical-analytic concerned, above all, with the problems of understanding and explanation; third, the strategicconcerned, above all with an assessment of the feasibility of moving from where we are to where we might like to be. contemporary political theory To these, one must add, the historical, the examination of the changing meaning of political discourse – its key concepts, theories, and concerns – over time.”

At the beginning of the 21st century, major new political challenges have arisen at the same time as some of the most enduring dilemmas of political association remain unresolved. The collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War reflect a victory for democratic and liberal values, yet in many of the western countries that nurtured those values there are severe problems of urban decay, class and racial conflict, and failing political legitimacy. Enduring global injustice and inequality seem compounded by environmental problems, disease, the oppression of women, racial, ethnic and religious minorities, and the relentless growth of the world's population. In such circumstances, the need for creative thinking about the fundamentals of human political association is manifest. This series in contemporary political theory is intended to foster such systematic normative reflection. The series proceeds in the belief that the time is ripe for a reassertion of the importance of problem-driven political theory. It is concerned, that is, with works that are motivated by the impulse to understand, to think critically about and address problems in the world, rather than issues that are thrown up primarily in academic debate.

This text provides an up to date account of how things currently stand in political philosophy, and will provide an excellent introduction for students from any background. contemporary political theory It gives a lucid and careful account of the central controversies and sites of disagreement in political theory over the last thirty years and rather than sacrifice theoretical sophistication and nuance for the sake of clarity and accessibility, it admirably achieves both' -

Catriona McKinnon, University of York

This comprehensive textbook provides a complete and accessible introduction to the main theorists and issues in contemporary political theory today.

The text is organized into two major parts. The first, Contemporary Liberal Theory, outlines four distinct liberal theories of justice to introduce the work of Rawls, Nozick, Gauthier and Dworkin. Contemporary political theory The second, Alternative Traditions, introduces the theorists and themes associated with four key areas of contemporary debate: communitarianism, multiculturalism, deliberative democracy and feminism.

By giving students questions for consideration and using applied examples throughout, the text illustrates the practical relevance of contemporary theoretical debates to everyday issues in policy and politics.

The result is an essential overview of all the main traditions, issues and positions in political theory today that will serve as an invaluable resource for all students of contemporary political theory, political ideas and political philosophy.

Colin Farrelly is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Introduction to Contemporary Political Theory will complement Contemporary Political Theory: A Reader edited by Colin Farrelly and also published by SAGE Publications.