Political Theory and Social Theory

Christine Helliwell and Barry Hindess

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548439
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577406 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Political Theory and Social Theory

Show Summary Details


This article analyses the relationship between political theory and social theory. The separation of political and social theory (and of political theory from other areas in the study of politics) is a relatively recent development. The most significant difference between conventional political theory and conventional social theory concerns the relationship between normative and descriptive/explanatory issues in the analysis of social/political life. In spite of their differences, however, political and social theory share the one set of historical roots and, partly in consequence, a core set of assumptions. They specifically share intellectual and cultural history.

Keywords: political theory; social theory; social/political life; intellectual history; cultural history

Article.  5339 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.