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The Political Theory of Political ThinkingThe Anatomy of a Practice$
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Michael Freeden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568031

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568031.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 September 2021

Theorizing about Political Thinking

Theorizing about Political Thinking

(p.22) 1 Theorizing about Political Thinking
The Political Theory of Political Thinking

Michael Freeden

Oxford University Press

Thinking politically concerns the drive to finalize collective affairs through decisions and the permanent slipperiness of that aim. It lists the six main features of thinking politically: (1) affirming ultimate and antecedent superior systemic control and jurisdiction in social affairs and controlling the competences of other social spheres; (2) distributing significance by ranking social aims in order of importance or urgency; (3) accepting, justifying, criticizing, or rejecting collective entities and their activities; (4) articulating cooperative, dissenting, competitive, or conflictual arrangements for groups; (5) determining policy, directing collective plans, and projecting collective visions; (6) employing the power intensities and skills that pervade speech and writing and—in part—non-verbal communication. After discussing that, the chapter examines the changing and conflicting understandings of ‘the political’ that different schools of thought have brought with them, including evolving conceptions over the past century.

Keywords:   ranking, political support, order and disorder, collective visions, intensity, consensus, dissent

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