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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: 25 September 2021

The Scramble for Acceptance: Mobilizing and Withholding Support

The Scramble for Acceptance: Mobilizing and Withholding Support

(p.166) 5 The Scramble for Acceptance: Mobilizing and Withholding Support
The Political Theory of Political Thinking

Michael Freeden

Oxford University Press

Verbal support, oral and written, is one of the main fuels that keep a political system going, and its withdrawal is a threat to its existence or at least proper functioning. Theorizing about support for collectivities has declined in recent decades, yet it is a characteristic feature of thinking politically. The chapter investigates and criticizes the excessive focus of political theorists on political obligation, which in fact does not deliver the most typical forms of support. Instead, allegiance, loyalty, commitment, and trust are examined as alternative, often more pertinent, flows of support towards a political entity. Dissent and contention are explored as well. The chapter looks at the governmental eliciting of support through pledges and oaths. Finally a vernacular example of withdrawing support is considered through the Greenham Common protests of the 1980s, and one of competitively rendering support is discussed through the war dead rituals at Wootton Bassett.

Keywords:   support mobilization, political obligation, allegiance, loyalty, commitment, trust protest, rituals, vernacular

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