The Practical Turn in Political Theory

Should social and political practices play a role in the justification of normative political principles? In several sub-domains of political theory, theorists have suggested that practices constrain principles in various ways. This book joins five key debates in the current theoretical literature that have been largely taking place in isolation and identifies common strands of argument and their shared problems. By illuminating these connections and cross-fertilising key debates in the current theoretical literature, it develops a unified way forward for practice-based political theory.

  • An in-depth treatment of an extremely timely topic given the lively contestations in the five scrutinised debates with regard to how the relationship between social and political practices and normative political principles best should be understood.
  • Embraces a comprehensive approach to the fundamental question of how social and political practices constrain normative political principles of different kinds.
  • Critically assesses arguments for different kinds of constraints in current debates – e.g. linguistic constraints, methodological constraints, epistemological constraints and political constraints.