Making the Case for Political Anthropology: Understanding and Addressing the Backlash Against Liberalism

  • Rockwell F. Clancy


This chapter outlines the concept and contemporary importance of political anthropology, attempting to understand and address the backlash against inclusive liberal values on this basis. “Political anthropology” refers to an understanding of political activities and notions belonging to the political sphere—such as “justice,” “rights,” etc.—on the basis of philosophical anthropology, classically conceived in terms of conceptions of human nature. Although classic and modern thought has traditionally grounded its analyses of the political with reference to human nature, the mainstream of contemporary thought has—for good reasons—largely abandoned this approach. Abandoning this strategy has itself often been understood as a precondition for justice, a line of thought associated with liberalism.


Human Nature Human Existence Political Thought Comprehensive Doctrine Liberal Ideal 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rockwell F. Clancy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong Joint InstituteShanghaiChina

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