The Nature of Political Theory

Paperback | October 6, 2007

byAndrew Vincent

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In his controversial new book, Andrew Vincent sets out to analyse and challenge the established nostrums of contemporary political theory. The nature of Political Theory offers three major contributions to current scholarship. It offers, first, a comprehensive, synoptic, and comparativeanalysis of the major conceptions of political theory, predominantly during the twentieth century. This analysis incorporates systematic critiques of both Anglo-American and continental contributions. The 'nature' of theory is seen as intrinsically pluralistic and internally divided. Secondly, theidea of foundationalism is employed in the book to bring some coherence to this internally complex and fragmented practice. The book consequently focuses on the various foundational concerns embedded within conceptions of political theory. Thirdly, the book argues for an adjustment to the way wethink about the discipline. Political theory is reconceived as a theoretically-based, indeterminate subject, which should be more attuned to practice and history. Andrew Vincent makes a case for a more ecumenical and tolerant approach to the discipline, suggesting that there are different, butequally legitimate, answers to the question, 'what is political theory?'. Acceptance of this view would involve a supplementation of the standard substantive approaches to contemporary political theory.The Nature of Political Theory offers a unique and idiosyncratic perspective on our current understanding of political theory, making it an indispensable resource for all scholars and students of the discipline.

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From the Publisher

In his controversial new book, Andrew Vincent sets out to analyse and challenge the established nostrums of contemporary political theory. The nature of Political Theory offers three major contributions to current scholarship. It offers, first, a comprehensive, synoptic, and comparativeanalysis of the major conceptions of political the...

Andrew Vincent is a Professor of Political Theory at the University of Sheffield.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.85 inPublished:October 6, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199297959

ISBN - 13:9780199297955

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Table of Contents

Preface1. An Eclectic SubjectPart 12. We Have a Firm FoundationPart 23. Foundations Shaken but not Stirred4. Bleached FoundationsPart 35. Shoring up Foundations6. New Conventions for OldPart 47. Segmented Foundations and Pluralism8. Standing ProblemsPart 59. Dialogic Foundations10. Circular FoundationsConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition This book offers a comprehensive overview of the major strands of contemporary political theory and presents a case for the importance of metaphysics to the study of politics.'Times Higher Education Supplement