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Why Do We Need Political Theory?

February 27, 2020

We know whom to get in touch with or consult when we are ill or suffer from some health issues. It would be a doctor, nurse, medical professional or even a priest/priestess who can pray for us and give us his/her blessings which may help us in recovering from our illness or restore good health which we once had.

Same way, do we know whom to approach when we suffer from daily problems of life like poverty, unemployment, lag in government administration, inequality, injustice, discrimination etc.? We remain unsure. Like our health, the society too suffers from various ailments and Political Theory may be a shot in the arm for such ailments. For instance, Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj may be considered as a medicine for the ailment called colonialism.

Human life is impossible without studying such conflicts which the society is rigged with. Every day of human life is an inquiry into the future as well as into the past. In the Dark Ages, most of the answers to such questions were provided by religion, cosmologies and philosophy and it was believed that these answers were abstract and had nothing to do with reality. Emergence of modernity gave birth to today’s modern nation state and we have much more complex problems do deal with at hand. Political Theory may not be a pure science but it is empirical in its investigation in the real problems we suffer in our day to day lives.

Political Theory is concerned with human actions. How do we decide? What for? How much? etc. It studies the decisions taken by human beings from the lens of ethical consideration as well as scientific method. It is a rational evaluation of human actions and public policy which was considered as impossible by the scholars from pure science and some thinkers from within the discipline of Political Theory. Some even considered Political Theory as dead during 1950’s. Political Theory has returned today, much stronger than it was before. Political Theory provides solutions and also describes new problems. Political Theory is unending same as the problems of human lives.

Dr. Udayprakash Sharma, Assistant Professor, Unitedworld School of Liberal Arts and Mass Communication (USLM)

Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.

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