Political Theory: The State of the Discipline (BOK)
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Political theory draws on a number of different disciplines, such as political science, philosophy, history and law. It is a broad subfield, its practitioners, depending on their background, bring different perspectives and approaches to the study of political thought, which range from historical to normative. Moreover, political theory often draws on the insights of, as well as engages in a dialogue with, social theory, ethics and the philosophy of law. In addition, nowadays, political theory has expanded to include the study of 'the international' (international political theory). For all these reasons, political theory is a core subject taught in a variety of academic departments. Yet, paradoxically, there has been an increasing tendency in the past few years for political theory to be marginalized in the academy. This is because so much academic policy concentrates on the main branches of the disciplines within which political theory falls. Even worse for political theory, social theory and the philosophy of law, or legal philosophy, with which it enters into fruitful dialogue, are themselves 'weak' areas within sociology and law, respectively. The aim of this volume is to address this situation. What are the problems and challenges that political theory faces today? What is its importance as a distinctive branch of enquiry? What are its main concerns? The fact that political thought operates across disciplinary boundaries and often challenges the boundaries of the aforesaid disciplines is one of its greatest strengths.