The nature of the political reconsidered

Holland, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-1720-1576, 2017. The nature of the political reconsidered. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 47 (1), pp. 32-57. ISSN 0021-8308

PubSub3945_Holland.pdf - Post-print

Download (379kB) | Preview


I present an immanent, and explanatory, critique of reflections on the nature of politics and of power within political science. I argue that these reflections are problematic, to the extent that they presuppose an actualist conception of the political, and that this is generated by an empiricist way of thinking on the one hand and a constructivist way of thinking on the other. I show how re-defining politics, power, and the political on the basis of a dialectical critical realist ontology resolves these problems and, thereby, allows us to understand the conditions for social change and the relationship between the political and the economic. My argument has two, important implications: first, that the proposal that those who study politics professionally should celebrate philosophical diversity is dangerous–at least if it makes it difficult to sustain a distinct, emancipatory form of political inquiry; and, second, that the nature of social reality justifies the need both for specialized forms of inquiry, such as politics and economics, and integrative forms of inquiry, such as political economy.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
Creators: Holland, D.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: March 2017
Volume: 47
Number: 1
ISSN: 0021-8308
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 26 Nov 2015 11:30
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2017 03:00

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year