Reflections on Political Theory

A Voice of Reason from the Past

  • Neal Wood

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Questions and Problems

    1. Neal Wood
      Pages 1-14
  3. Defining Political Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Neal Wood
      Pages 17-37
    3. Neal Wood
      Pages 39-69
  4. Studying Political Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Neal Wood
      Pages 91-113
    3. Neal Wood
      Pages 115-131
    4. Neal Wood
      Pages 155-164
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 165-178

About this book


In this thought-provoking study, Neal Wood challenges the conception of political theory as a lofty discipline remote from the world of real politics. Drawing on the examples of thinkers from Plato to those of the nineteenth century, he attempts to define political theory by examining the nature of the state and politics, by identifying the major characteristics that their theories share and by analyzing the conditions that have favoured their creation. Wood critically explores the two principle approaches to studying the work of past theorists - the philosophical and historical - and evaluates the relevance of Marxism. The various theories are not treated as blueprints but collectively as a voice of reason from the past, which can inspire and guide present and future theorizing.


Marx philosophy Plato political theory politics work

Authors and affiliations

  • Neal Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

Bibliographic information