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Two forms of realism in political theory

Baderin, A. (2014) Two forms of realism in political theory. European Journal of Political Theory, 13 (2). pp. 132-153. ISSN 1741-2730

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/1474885113483284


This paper explores contemporary debates about the meaning and value of realism in political theory. I seek to move beyond the widespread observation that realism encompasses a diverse set of critiques and commitments, by urging that we recognize two key strands in recent realist thought. Detachment realists claim that political theory is excessively abstract and infeasible and thereby fails adequately to inform actual political decision-making. Displacement critics, on the other hand, suggest that political theory threatens or disrespects real politics. Not only are these visions of realism very different, there are also important tensions between them. I focus, in particular, on clarifying and evaluating the more complex charge that political theory displaces politics.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:79475

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