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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: 28 September 2021

The Arrogance of Politics

The Arrogance of Politics

(p.92) 3 The Arrogance of Politics
The Political Theory of Political Thinking

Michael Freeden

Oxford University Press

One feature of thinking politically is the self-assumption and the absence of justification—its arrogation and arrogance—that underpins its pure form: the role of closing and finalizing debate. One of its manifestations is in commandeering the initiation of an act or a process by disallowing any appeal to a prior tier of decision-making. That claim to temporal priority is central to political thinking and can be seen both in religious and in secular arguments, narratives, and myths. It is paralleled by a spatial control over all spheres of human activity, not in a substantive sense, but as the patrolling of the boundaries of social thought and action. That is sovereignty directed inwards, as the incontestable delivery of decisions when conflicts take place. Authority and legitimacy serve as subsidiary aids to asserting the primacy element of the political in regulating the competences of all fields of social life.

Keywords:   arrogation, boundaries, sovereignty, authority, legitimacy, temporal priority, control

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