Introduction to Political Theory

Political Theory

Politics is one of the important topics across the world, and indeed everything seems to depend on it. But to understand, there must be proven ideas that lay its foundation. Every political science student, international relations notwithstanding, must therefore, face political theory as a subject. Even though it is a branch in science of politics, there is much within it that makes it stand on its own. 

Steven Lukes, in his fiction round-up of modern political theory “The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat,” tries to unravel the mysteries of the subject. In the story, the professor is kidnapped and thrown in the search for optimism. When he reaches Utilitarian, he is compelled to give a lesson on “breaking Free from the Past,” in another place, Communitarian, the ask him to teach on ‘Why Enlightenment Project Had to Fail.” Unfortunately, these topics are not to his tastes. But when he reaches Libertaria, he comes in contact with his limited academic expertise. In the end, the professor still fails to reach Egalitarian, his dreamland, but he has learned a precious lesson: that when searching for one ideal, one must not lose sight of all the others.

In this story, we learn a fundamental derivative that we need to be lightly minded about both normative and methodological pluralism. Luke commends that many theorists have made political theory a battleground for their positions, which is expectedly, has led them to close their minds other alternative approaches. In other words, everyone wants to be right, forgetting that political theory is a broad subject, and it is not easy to know what is right or wrong for sure. 

One of the essential aspects of the whole thing is that political theorist is just like any other citizens. Yet, the mutual intolerance and indifference continue to reign, perhaps because they are just as imperfect human beings like anyone else. But any piece of evidence points our pluralism and has identified the possibilities of borrowing from other cultures. Hence, pluralism may be, arguably, the key feature in the field of political theory.

Defining Political Theory

As stated above, political philosophy is a broad subject that can stand on its own, from political science. It is an interdisciplinary venture whose aim is on the edge of humanities in political science. Though there are different approaches, traditions, styles, and cultures in this field, one thing remains clear that political theory is committed to theorizing, critiquing, and diagnosing norms practices and organizations behind political actions. It deals with the politics of the past, the present, and possibly the future in different places. There seem to be charms of indifference about the subject; however, political theorists share common concerns aimed at introducing justice to the world, and ways it can be fulfilled. Hence, they all touch the presuppositions of and promises of democracy. Also, they seek to unravel the mysterious separating secular and religious ways of life, and in so doing, reveal the nature and identity of public goods and many other subjects.

Hence, political theorists are committed to studying politics from the humanistic approach ( although there is no sure answer to what this means). They also drive towards a skeptical hegemony sometimes sort by more confident “scientific” friends. In the past few years, more in the USA, political studies have become one of the pillars of society. It has been increasingly incorporated into formal and quantitative investigations making is a critical aspect of development. 

As such, some who understand political theory will say it is a formal theory that seeks to define politics and its characteristics exclusively. In natural science, the modeling of this explanation may bring out something far more in-depth as it takes the forms of searching causal explanations for activities in the human world. And indeed, these approaches have not been accepted without a challenge, the most recent being Perestroika Movement (Monroe 2005) that favored more qualitative and interpretive methods. For these, we can say that political theory is something close to normative philosophy and the empirical world of politics rather than quantitative and qualitative arguments.

For many years, the challenge defining political theory has come from three aspects: how it related to academic disciplines of political science, history, and philosophy, differentiating the world of politics and the register of theory, and the difference between the legal, political theory concerning newer resources. Political theorists very much draw from these aspects to conclude their assumptions. Since politics is a broad subject, all these approaches are useful, and one quickly says they are acceptable. Moreover, the political and general world has developed rapidly over the years. It is, therefore, true that approaches to political theory have changed, extending beyond the canon and its interpretations. Theorists use novels, film, and other cultural artifacts to bear their equipment, of course, apart from other social sciences, which by default, related directly to the science of politics, and indeed, political theory.

Political theory has not dominant methodology or approach. It is a mongrel sub-discipline, and there is no doubt about that. Political theorists will, on many occasions, use the shorthand of crucial formative influence when describing themselves. However, it is more frequent and more comfortable when others label them than when asked to express themselves. Contrastingly, many political theories do not identify themselves using three or so significant institutions that explain their expertise. For instance, one cannot tell the distinct division between realists, liberal, and constructivists, and recently neoconservatives. These approaches define the theory of international relations and explain the importance of the subject.

Looking at this, we can conclude that political theory seemly lacks an individual identity. Some theorists may try to rectify this perceived absence by placing political theory back into its role as the custodian of universal questions, and explorer of historical texts, hence referring political theory back to history. Many others use the internal character of the field as an exact copy of the uncertain nature of the real political world. In recent years, theorists have tried to respond to old assumptions about state-nation identities, rethinking the meanings of character while rejecting the unitary concepts. This process has coincided with political theoryPolitical Theory, opening more channels for knowledge. 


1034 Words


Apr 27, 2020


3 Pages

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