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  • Cited by 8
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2020
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Book description

In a world no longer centered on the West, what should political theory become? Although Western intellectual traditions continue to dominate academic journals and course syllabi in political theory, up-and-coming contributions of 'comparative political theory' are rapidly transforming the field. Deparochializing Political Theory creates a space for conversation amongst leading scholars who differ widely in their approaches to political theory. These scholars converge on the belief that we bear a collective responsibility to engage and support the transformation of political theory. In these exchanges, 'deparochializing' political theory emerges as an intellectual, educational and political practice that cuts across methodological approaches. Because it is also an intergenerational project, this book presses us to re-imagine our teaching and curriculum design. Bearing the marks of its beginnings in East Asia, Deparochializing Political Theory seeks to de-center Western thought and explore the evolving tasks of political theory in an age of global modernity.


‘This path-breaking book addresses the urgent problem of bringing diverse human ideas about legitimate political order into conversation with one another. The authors disagree fruitfully about precisely where to go and how to get there. Yet all of these essays brim with insight. The authors explore the concept of ‘reciprocal elucidation', the surprising but convincing protection of claims to universalism, a possible demolition of the normative value of popular sovereignty, the possible globalization of a peasant ritual, a normative embedding of meritocracy in authoritarian and democratic regimes, how to teach, how to think – far too many insights to name here. The world needs this movement and every political theorist needs to read this book.'

Jane Mansbridge - Harvard University, Massachusetts

‘While the most pressing political challenges of our time are of a global nature, we lack a truly transnational political language and imagination to approach them. Deparochializing Political Theory is essential to overcoming this lacuna. This volume brings together leading scholars to engage in an exemplary dialogic quest for understanding one's own and other modes of political thought while avoiding cultural reification and imposition.'

Rainer Forst - Goethe University Frankfurt

‘This outstanding volume ranges from exciting new departures to thoughtful reflections on lifetimes of scholarship. Williams convincingly illustrates that there is no one answer or route to practicing comparative political theory; what we need right now is not a single road map, but a range of options and vigorous debate.'

Stephen C. Angle - Wesleyan University, Connecticut

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