On “Essential Contestability” of Political Notions

Ledyaev V.G.,

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), PhD (Manchester, Government), Prof. of the Department of Analysis of Social Institutions, National Research University ‘Higher School of Economics’, Moscow, Russia, valeri_ledyaev@mail.ru

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2003.02.07
For citation:

Ledyaev V.G. On “Essential Contestability” of Political Notions . – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No. 2. P. 86-95. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2003.02.07


The article analytically retraces discussions that have been developing in recent decades in foreign and Russian science, a propos of the concept of “essential contestability” of political notions. The author demonstrates that the collision between the arguments “for” and those adduced “against” the concept in question, is partly accounted for by the differences in the conceptual apparatus applied: thus, in situations where the partisans of the concept observe competitive interpretations of one notion, its opponents perceive different notions. As for the presence of normative elements in the content of the notions, the difficulties following therefrom, the author concludes, should not be exaggerated: differences of philosophical, theoretical-methodological and ideological orientations do not exclude the possibility (1) of comprehending the point of an alternative concept (otherwise there wouldn’t be any normal scientific and political communication) and (2) of effective conceptual discussions, of achieving progress in the study of political notions.

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Content No. 2, 2003

See also:

Sulimov K.A.,
Politico-Philosophical Conception of Political Violence: the Search after Sense. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No3

Fyodorova M.M.,
Metamorphoses of the “Free Individual” (Notes on the Formation of the Problem Field of Political Philosophy in the 19th Century). – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No5

Ilyinskaya S.G.,
Toleration and Political Violence. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No3

Degtyareva M.I.,
Tradition: a Model or a Perspective (Josиphe de Maistre and Edmund Burke). – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No5

Malinova O.Yu.,
Liberalism and the Concept of Nation. – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No2

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