The Descent of Political Theory: The Genealogy of an American Vocation

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9780226310817: The Descent of Political Theory: The Genealogy of an American Vocation

This provocative work reveals the origins and development of political theory as it is presently understood—and misunderstood. Tracing the evolution of the field from the nineteenth century to the present, John G. Gunnell shows how current controversies, like those over liberalism or the relationship of theory to practice, are actually the unresolved legacy of a forgotten past. By uncovering this past, Gunnell exposes the forces that animate and structure political theory today.

Gunnell reconstructs the evolution of the field by locating it within the broader development of political science and American social science in general. During the behavioral revolution that swept political science in the 1950s, the relationship between political theory and political science changed dramatically, relegating theory to the margins of an increasingly empirical discipline. Gunnell demonstrates that the estrangement of political theory is rooted in a much older quarrel: the authority of knowledge versus political theory is rooted in a much older quarrel: the authority of knowledge versus political authority, academic versus public discourse. By disclosing the origin of this dispute, he opens the way for a clearer understanding of the basis and purpose of political theory.

As critical as it is revelatory, this thoughtful book should be read by any one interested in the history of political theory or science—or in the relationship of social science to political practice in the United States.

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About the Author:

John G. Gunnell is professor of political science at the State University of New York, Albany. He is the author of four books, the most recent Between Philosophy and Politics: The Alienation of Political Theory.

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John G. Gunnell
Published by The University of Chicago Press, United States (1993)
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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This work reveals the origins and development of political theory as it is presently understood - and misunderstood. Tracing the evolution of the field from the 19th century to the present, John G. Gunnell shows how controversies, like those over liberalism or the relationship of theory to practice, are actually the unresolved legacy of a forgotten past. Gunnell reconstructs the evolution of the field by locating it within the development of American social science. During the behavioural revolution of the 1950s, political theory was relegated to the margins of an increasingly empirical political science. Gunnell demonstrates that the estrangement of political theory is rooted in a much older quarrel: the authority of knowledge versus political authority, academic versus public discourse. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226310817

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This work reveals the origins and development of political theory as it is presently understood - and misunderstood. Tracing the evolution of the field from the 19th century to the present, John G. Gunnell shows how controversies, like those over liberalism or the relationship of theory to practice, are actually the unresolved legacy of a forgotten past. Gunnell reconstructs the evolution of the field by locating it within the development of American social science. During the behavioural revolution of the 1950s, political theory was relegated to the margins of an increasingly empirical political science. Gunnell demonstrates that the estrangement of political theory is rooted in a much older quarrel: the authority of knowledge versus political authority, academic versus public discourse. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226310817

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