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Reflections on Political Theory : A Voice of Reason from the Past - N. Wood

Reflections on Political Theory

A Voice of Reason from the Past

By: N. Wood

Hardcover

Published: 18th December 2001
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In this thought-provoking study, Neal Wood challenges the conception of political theory as a lofty discipline remote from the world of real politics. Drawing on the examples of thinkers from Plato to those of the nineteenth century, he attempts to define political theory by examining the nature of the state and politics, by identifying the major characteristics that their theories share and by analyzing the conditions that have favoured their creation. Wood critically explores the two principle approaches to studying the work of past theorists - the philosophical and historical - and evaluates the relevance of Marxism. The various theories are not treated as blueprints but collectively as a voice of reason from the past, which can inspire and guide present and future theorizing.

This is a book that the contemporary English-speaking world needs very much.' - Gordon Schochet, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University

'...a pleasant -as well as informative-read' - Choice

Prefacep. ix
Questions and Problemsp. 1
Defining Political Theoryp. 15
State and Politicsp. 17
Nature of the statep. 17
Meaning of politicsp. 25
Symbolic forms and politicsp. 32
Character of Political Theoryp. 39
Political theorist as 'a reformer of politicks'p. 41
The generative dimensionp. 47
The prescriptive dimensionp. 56
The persuasive dimensionp. 61
Conditions Favouring Political Theoryp. 71
Political conflict and social turmoilp. 73
Freedom of expressionp. 76
Intellectual quality and educationp. 78
Optimism about the futurep. 84
Studying Political Theoryp. 89
Philosophical Mode of Analysisp. 91
The ivory tower syndromep. 92
The philosophical idealism of the Cambridge Schoolp. 101
Philosophy without history or philosophy and history?p. 109
Historical Mode of Analysisp. 115
Ideational and material realmsp. 117
Questions of historicism and relativismp. 122
Role of ideologyp. 126
Marxism and the Historical Mode of Analysisp. 133
Salience of the economicp. 135
History as dynamic processp. 138
Class structure and conflictp. 146
Conception of the statep. 151
Afterword: Toward the Futurep. 155
Notesp. 165
Indexp. 173
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780333968802
ISBN-10: 0333968808
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 178
Published: 18th December 2001
Publisher: SPRINGER VERLAG GMBH
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.35 x 14.73  x 1.68
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1