What is Political Theory and Why Do We Need It?

Paperback | September 6, 2012

byRajeev Bhargava

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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 tothem - 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 exploresdeeper issues in the philosophy of social science - individualism, ethnocentrism, teleology, social ontology, and the object-like presence of social meanings.

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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 tothem - to stabilize, endorse, or challenge them...

Rajeev Bhargava is Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi.

other books by Rajeev Bhargava

Format:PaperbackDimensions:424 pages, 8.46 × 5.51 × 0.07 inPublished:September 6, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198088396

ISBN - 13:9780198088394

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Table of Contents

PrefacePublisher's AcknowledgementsI What is Political Theory and Why do We Need It?1. What is Political Theory?2. Why do We Need Political Theory?3. Is There an Indian Political Theory?II Normative Frameworks4. Political Secularism5. The Multicultural Framework6. The Continuing Relevance of SocialismIII In the Face of Injustice7. How Should We Respond to the Cultural Injustices of Colonialism?8. Restoring Decency to Barbaric Societies9. Ordinary Feelings, Extraordinary Events: Moral Complexity in 9/1110. Literature, Censorship, and DemocracyIV Modernity and Identity11. Religious and Secular Identities12. Are there Alternative Modernities?V Philosophy of Social Science13. Holism and Individualism in History and Social Science14. What Makes Something Social?15. Teleology and Ethnocentrism in Social Science16. "Objective Significance" in Critical Social TheoryIndex