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Fugitive DemocracyAnd Other Essays$
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Sheldon S. Wolin and Nicholas Xenos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.001.0001

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Political Theory as a Vocation

Political Theory as a Vocation

(p.3) Chapter 1 Political Theory as a Vocation
Fugitive Democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Princeton University Press

This chapter sketches some of the implications, prospective and retrospective, of the primacy of method in the present study of politics. It does so by way of a contrast, which is deliberately heightened between the vocation of the “methodist” and the vocation of the theorist. The discussion will be centered around the kinds of activity involved in the two vocations. The chapter first seeks to locate the idea of method in the context of the “behavioral revolution,” and, second, to examine the idea itself in terms of some historical and analytical considerations. Then, proceeding on the assumption that the idea of method, like all-important intellectual choices, carries a price, it concentrates on some of the personal, educational, vocational, and political consequences of this particular choice. Finally, it attempts to relate the idea of the vocation of political theory to these same matters.

Keywords:   politics, political analysis, methodist, political theory, behavioral revolution, vocation

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