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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

Stability, Order, and Disruption: Discourses of Balance and Contention

Stability, Order, and Disruption: Discourses of Balance and Contention

(p.200) 6 Stability, Order, and Disruption: Discourses of Balance and Contention
The Political Theory of Political Thinking

Michael Freeden

Oxford University Press

Thinking politically entails reflection and discourse on social arrangements that promote stability and order—the difference between the two is explained—or that seek to undermine them. Harmony and progress have figured strongly in past political thought, and dissent, disruption, and discipline have become themes in much radical political theory. But even theories of dissent aspire to alternative orders. In past political discourse by or about Americans—the Federalist and Tocqueville are notable instances—stability played a central role. The chapter then discusses four normative genres: constitutions, deliberative democracy, Rawls’s reasonable stability, and the ethical pursuit of order. Thinking about disruption in the USA and France is considered. Finally, the internal logic of negotiation as a means towards stabilization is examined, both as a value and as a technique serving values.

Keywords:   stability, order, disruption, dissent, harmony, progress, constitutions, negotiation

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