What does it mean to “think without a bannister”?

In this video Jonathan Havercroft interviews Tracy Strong about his new book Politics without Vision: Thinking without a bannister in the Twentieth Century.

Prior to the 19th century, political theorists could draw upon comprehensive political visions to offer guidance on questions of governance and political order. However, beginning in the mid-19th century philosophers began to critique the very foundations of these traditions of grand theorising. Much political theory in the 20th and early 21st theory have responded to these attacks upon philosophical foundations. Yet critics of these post-foundational works of philosophy often argue that these works are morally relativistic and anti-democratic. Strong surveys the writings of seven influential post-foundational political theorists – Nietzsche, Weber, Lenin, Freud, Schmitt, Heidegger, and Arendt – to see how they thought about political order during what political theorist George Kateb calls “the morally worst century ever.”

Politics without Vision was awarded the American Political Science Association’s 2013 David Easton prize.

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