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Article

Политическая теория и понятие политического

The concept of the political is a central and yet one of the most controversial categories in the political thought. Despite the long history of reflection about the concept of the political, today there is still a lack of consensus not only about the substantive content of this notion, but also about its very right to exist. The purpose of this article is to clarify the epistemological opportunities of political theory in relation to the concept of the political.

If political theory is part of positive political science and is an autonomous form of knowledge, independent from philosophy, it must also include a special way of thinking about the political. The article gives a brief description of the subject field of political theory, describes the specificity of its view on social and political phenomena, and justifies the statement that the political manifests itself in the form of an event.

By virtue of the immanent bias of political thought, it is impossible to know about a political event beyond its borders. Thus, according to the author, political theory should focus on pre-political situations, in which political events can occur. To identify such situations, it is necessary to shift the focus from the “friend—enemy” formula to the “human—non-human” dichotomy. A political event happens when the fundamental norms of humanity are problematized at the collective level and a space opens up where people involved in the event are forced to take one or the other side. The boundary between human and non-human in a political event is erased, which determines the existential nature of the confrontation between friends and enemies.