Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory  book cover
2nd Edition

Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory

ISBN 9780367629090
Published September 21, 2021 by Routledge
630 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The triangular relationship between the social, the political, and the cultural has opened up social and political theory to new challenges. The social can no longer be reduced to the category of society, and the political extends beyond the traditional concerns of the nature of the state and political authority.

This Handbook will address a range of issues that have recently emerged from the disciplines of social and political theory, focusing on key themes as opposed to schools of thought or major theorists. It is divided into three sections which address:

  • the most influential theoretical traditions that have emerged from the legacy of the twentieth century;
  • the most important new and emerging frameworks of analysis today;
  • the major theoretical problems in recent social and political theory.

The Second edition is an enlarged, revised, and updated version of the first edition, which was published in 2011 and comprised 42 chapters. The new edition consists of 50 chapters, of which seventeen are entirely new chapters covering topics that have become increasingly prominent in social and political theory in recent years, such as populism, the new materialism, postcolonialism, Deleuzean theory, post-humanism, post-capitalism as well as older topics that were not covered in the first edition, such as Arendt, the gift, critical realism, anarchism. All chapters retained from the first edition have been thoroughly revised and updated.

The Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory encompasses the most up-to-date developments in contemporary social and political theory, and as such is an essential research tool for both undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as researchers working in the fields of political theory, social and political philosophy, contemporary social theory, and cultural theory.

Table of Contents


Stephen P. Turner and Gerard Delanty


1. Foucault and the Promise of Power without Dogma

Gary Wickham and B.B. Bieganski

2. Pierre Bourdieu and His Legacy

Marcel Fournier

3. Lacanian Theory: Ideology, Enjoyment and the Spirits of Capitalism

Yannis Stavrakakis

4. The Marxist Legacy

Peter Beilharz

5. Critical Race Theory

Patricia Hill Collins

6. Feminist Social and Political Theory

Claire Colebrook

7. Accidental Conditions: The Social Consequences of Poststructuralist Philosophy

Thomas Docherty

8. Critical Theory Today: Legacies and New Directions

Gerard Delanty and Neal Harris

9. Pragmatism and Political Theory

Robert B. Talisse

10. Lessons from Twentieth Century Political Philosophy before Rawls

Jeremy Sheamur

11. Liberalism after Communitarianism

Charles Blattberg

12. Republicanism: Non-domination and the Free State

Richard Bellamy

13. Marcel Gauchet and the Crisis of European Democracy

Natalie J. Doyle

14. A Journey Through Latin American Social and Political Thought

Aurea Mota

15. Intellectuals and Society: Sociological and Historical Perspectives

Patrick Baert and Joel Isaac

16. Power and Violence in the Political Thought of Hannah Arendt

Philip Walsh


17. Anarchist Social and Political Theory

Ruth Kinna

18. Deleuze, Guattari, and the Concept of Social Assemblage

Jay Conway

19. Critical Realism

Dave Elder-Vass

20. Power, Legitimacy and Authority

Stuart Clegg

21. Environment and Risk

Timothy W. Luke

22. Modernity in Social and Political Theory: Correcting Misunderstandings

Peter Wagner

23. Social and Political Trust

Karen S. Cook and Brian D. Cook

24. From Linguistic Performativity to Social Performance

Maria Lloyd

25. Nationalism and Social Theory: The Distinction between Community and Society

Steven Grosby

26. Empire and Imperialism

Krishan Kumar

27. Cosmopolitanism: Roots and Diversities

David Inglis

28. From Friction to Fruition: Social Theory Meets Postcolonial Studies

Sérgio Costa

29. Nature and Society

Byron Kaldis

30. The Cognitive and Metacognitive Dimensions of Social and Political Theory

Piet Strydom

31. Cognitive Neuroscience and the Theory and Practice of Social and Political Inquiry

John G. Gunnell

32. Humanism, Anti-humanism, Posthumanism

Daniel Chernilo

33. Contemporary Chinese Social and Political Thought

Guanjun Wu


34. Sovereignty, Security and the Exception: Bare Life in a Pandemic Time

Sheila Nair

35. The Future of the State

Georg Sørensen

36. Modern Constitutionalism under Challenge

Paul Blokker

37. Social Theory and European Integration

William Outhwaite

38. The Limits of Power and the Complexity of Powerlessness: The Case of Immigration

Saskia Sassen

39. Transnational Activisms and the Global Justice Movement

Donatella della Porta and Raffaele Marchetti

40. The Transnational Social Question

Thomas Faist

41. Social Suffering and the New Politics of Sentimentality

Iain Wilkinson

42. Memory Practices and Theory in a Global Age

Daniel Levy

43. The Gift Paradigm

Frank Adloff

44. Postcapitalism: The Return of Radical Critique

Albena Azmanova

45. Populism: The Concept and the Polemic

Filipe Carreira da Silva and Mónica Brito Vieira

46. New Materialism(s)

Geoff Pfeifer

47. Political Theology

Saul Newman

48. Theories of Violence

Larry Ray

49. Universalism, Human Rights and Islamic Relativism

Mehdi Zakerian

50. Animals in Social and Political Theory

Alasdair Cochrane and Krithika Srinivasan

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Gerard Delanty is Professor of Sociology and Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. His most recent publication is Critical Theory and Social Transformation (2020) and, as editor, Pandemics, Society and Politics (2021).

Stephen P. Turner is currently Distinguished University Professor at the Department of Philosophy, University of South Florida, USA. His books include Liberal Democracy 3.0: Civil Society in an Age of Experts (2003) and essays collected in The Politics of Expertise (2013). He has also written extensively on Max Weber, especially on politics, on Carl Schmitt, and on the politics of science and science policy.