Aspects of Political Theory : Classical Concepts in an Age of Relativism book cover
1st Edition

Aspects of Political Theory
Classical Concepts in an Age of Relativism

Edited By

W.J. Stankiewicz

ISBN 9781138507432
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
175 Pages

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Book Description

First published in 1976. This study continues an endeavour whose aim was to use traditional concepts as a basis for the discussion of contemporary political predicaments. The endeavour began with the publication of the symposium In Defense of Sovereignty (1969). Its long-range goal is to consider under a common denominator—relativism in politics— various aspects of theory such as the basic concepts discussed in the present essay, together with more modern theories of democracy and the wider spectrum of political ideologies.

Table of Contents

Preface, Introduction, I Is the Social Contract Obsolete?, Individualist Values v Social Order, Individualism, the Social Contract and Constitutionalism, Contractualism v Relativism and Individualism v Egalitarianism, Obligation and Consent in the Social Contract, Contractual and Representative Views of Government and the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma', Uses of the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma', II The General Will and the Public Interest, Transformation of the General Will, The General Will and Totalitarianism, The General Will and Democracy, Public Interest, Public Interest and a ‘Mythologized' Rousseau, Public Interest Norms and the Democratic Order, The Content of Public Interest, III Sovereignty and the Crisis of Authority, The Crisis of Authority, Authority, Freedom and Rule-Governed Activities, Authority and Political Obligation, Sovereign Authority and Sovereign Law, Is ‘Authority’ a Substitute for ‘Sovereignty’?, IV Sovereignty in Political Theory, The Nature of Sovereignty, A Re-Wording of the Classical Definition of Sovereignty, The Significance of Sovereignty, Sovereignty and the Public Interest, Sovereignty as a Tool of Analysis, Legitimacy and Sovereignty, Sovereignty as a Datum in International Relations, The Exercise of Sovereignty and Relativism, V Natural Law, ‘A Peculiar Tone of Horror’, The Persistence of Natural Law, Relativism, Reason and Natural Law, ‘Relative’ Natural Law, Who Shall Determine Natural Law and How?, Positive and Natural Law and Ideology, VI From Natural Law to Public Philosophy, ‘Applied’ Natural Law in Democratic Societies, Obligation and Two Sets of Societal Norms, Ethical Considerations in Positive Law, The Problem of Democracy and ‘Natural Law', Public Philosophy, VII The Consequences of Relativism and Behaviouralism, The Essence of Modern Relativism, Relativism and the Springs of Action: Norms as Tools of Analysis, Relativism as a Methodology, Relativity and Relativism, Relativism and Political Science, Relativism and the Hierarchy of Val

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W J Stankiewicz Professor of Political Science University of British Columbia