Political Theory, Old and New

Brian Barry

in A New Handbook of Political Science

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294719
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599361 | DOI:
 Political Theory, Old and New

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The potential of rational choice theory to political theory is elaborated and developed. In opposition to Parekh, Rawls's Theory of Justice was a turning point in political philosophy because it is disconnected from the thought of the 1950s and 60s. Responds to Young's and Parekh's criticism that liberalism cannot accommodate diversity in beliefs and ways of life. Admits that equality of opportunity is likely to disadvantage some ways of life over others, but points out that the liberal individualistic principle is preferable to a politics of group identity and difference.

Keywords: difference; diversity; equal opportunity; group identity; individualism; liberalism; political philosophy; political theory; rational choice; John Rawls

Chapter.  8380 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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