Raisons politiques is 20 years old. To celebrate this milestone, a group of almost 20 acclaimed French and international political theorists agreed to contribute to our anniversary edition and to share their vision of political theory. Our larger goal was to stimulate debate on the state of the discipline. All the contributors answered the same series of questions. We also asked them to go beyond the discussion of political theory itself and provide readers with a practitioner's guide to teaching theory.
These essays provide a broad and general overview of the field. The collection also highlights the unique views of each of the scholars by bringing in their research, approaches, and personalities. What's more, the compilation probes the relationship between political theory and other disciplines and how it enriches, engages, and overlaps with the humanities and social sciences.
The particular role of political theory in the French academy is also explored. Our discussion begins with the profession in France and why it lags in terms of the recognition enjoyed by political theorists in Europe, Britain, and the US. Perhaps the root of the problem is that political theory in France is viewed as a subset of political science. While partly true, political theory is also the oldest and the most fundamental part of what used to be called the study of politics or government. It invented the concepts and it first asked the questions that still matter. Political theory obviously cannot solve all the political problems of the day, but it does provide us with the vocabulary to talk about them…
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