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date: 24 September 2017

Abstract and Keywords

When Sheldon Wolin’s Politics and Vision was first published in 1960, the dominance of liberalism, democratic pluralism, and behavioralism had thrown the discipline of political theory into an existential crisis. Politics and Vision interpreted the history of political thought as a series of visions of commonality (of “the political”), ultimately arguing that modern liberalism had disavowed this dimension of experience in dangerous ways. In urging readers to offer new political visions, and particularly to re-imagine equality through the concept of citizenship, it galvanized theorists of the Left at a crucial moment. Indeed, the text continues to inspire newcomers to the field, exemplifying the power of historically engaged political thought to expose contemporary dilemmas. When the book was reissued with new chapters in 2004, however, Wolin had moved beyond his early appeal to citizenship to envision a theory of radical democracy at odds with corporate capitalism and the modern state.

Keywords: Liberalism, pluralism, behavioralism, the political, commonality, equality, citizenship, radical democracy, capitalism, state

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