- Subject index
This major new Handbook provides a definitive state-of-the-art review to political theory, past and present. It offers a complete guide to all the main areas and fields of political and philosophical inquiry today by the world's leading theorists. The Handbook is divided into five parts which together serve to illustrate: - the diversity of political theorizing - the substantive theories that provide an over-aching analysis of the nature/or justification of the state and political life - the political theories that have been either formulated or resurgent in recent years - the current state of the central debates within contemporary political theory - the history of western political thought and its interpretations - traditions in political thought outside a western perspective. The Handbook of Political Theory marks a benchmark publication at the cutting edge of its field. It is essential reading for all students and academics of political theory and political philosophy around the world.
Chapter 4: Postmodern Approaches to Political Theory
Postmodern Approaches to Political Theory
The term postmodernism has currency in political theory, but also in literary studies, philosophy, anthropology, the arts, and popular discourse, in each case functioning somewhat differently. Its usages can be summarized under three headings: (1) as a sociological designation for an epochal shift in the way collective life is organized (from centralized and hierarchical control towards a network structure); (2) as an aesthetic genre (literature that experiments with non-linear narration, a playful architecture of mixed styles, an appreciation of popular culture that complicates the distinction between high and low); (3) as a set of philosophical critiques of teleological and/or rationalist conceptions of nature, history, power, freedom, and subjectivity. Postmodernism in political theory participates in all three, ...