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A recent trend in contemporary western political theory is to criticize it for implicitly trying to "conquer," "displace" or "moralize" politics. James Wiley’s book takes the "next step," from criticizing contemporary political theory, to showing what a more "politics-centered" political theory would look like by exploring the meaning and value of politics in the writings of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, Paul Ricoeur, Hannah Arendt, Sheldon Wolin, Claude Lefort, and Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. These political theorists all use the concept of "the political" to explain the value of politics and defend it from its detractors. They represent state-centered, republic-centered and society-centered conceptions of politics, as well as realist, authoritarian, idealist, republican, populist and radical democratic traditions of political thought. This book compares these theorists and traditions of "the political" in order to defend politics from its critics and to contribute to the development of a politics-centered political theory. Politics and the Concept of the Political will be a useful resource to general audiences as well as to specialists in political theory.