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What is Political Theory and Why Do We Need It?

Rajeev Bhargava

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ISBN 10: 0195699335 / ISBN 13: 9780195699333
Published by Oxford University Press, 2010
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Political theory is widely seen in India as an esoteric inquiry unrelated to social and political practice and largely irrelevant to the urgent or enduring problems of our times. Contrary to this view, Rajeev Bhargava argues that it emerges from practices and has the potential to return to them?to stabilize, endorse, or challenge them. In this book, he explains the constitutive features of political theory and the pivotal role it can play in modern, pluralist societies. Bhargava elucidates the conceptual structure of secularism, multiculturalism, and socialism, identifying which forms of each of these are worth defending and why. He shows how politico-moral reasoning can shape appropriate responses to the grave injustice of states and communities?colonialism, civil wars, massacres, acts of terrorism, and denials of freedom of expression. He opposes naive articulations of modernity and tradition and claims that some types of deeply religious and secular persons can come together against dangerously simple-minded believers and unbelievers. He also explores deeper issues in the philosophy of social science?individualism, ethnocentrism, teleology, social ontology, and the object-like presence of social meanings. Printed Pages: 436. Bookseller Inventory # 18981

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Bibliographic Details

Title: What is Political Theory and Why Do We Need ...

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


In this collection of essays, Bhargava answers important questions related to Political Theory and its aims. The aim of political theory, he says, is not only to clear up conceptual muddles but to reason systematically and ethically about some of the major social and political problems we face, to illuminate which ethical values are relevant to the context and why, and to give some direction to what we should do. Using the tools of political theory, he tells us the value and dangers of multiculturalism, the significance of political secularism in religiously diverse societies, the continuing relevance of some socialist ideas and explains why modernity must not be viewed only as a monolithic, homogenizing process.

What is Political Theory and Why Do We Need It? asks what, if any, the cultural injustices of colonialism are and how we should respond to them, assesses the value of institutions such as Truth and Reconciliation in societies that have gone through violence and injustice on a massive scale, argues why it is urgent to jettison stereotypes of one another held by religious and secular persons, clarifie the importance of free expression in democratic societies, and how the state should act amidst growing intolerance and offers a morally complex reflection on 9/11. The book also includes philosophical essays on the methodology of social science.

About the Author:

Rajeev Bhargava is Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in India.

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