In this collection of essays, Bhargava answers important questions related to Political Theory and its aims. The aim of political theory, he says, is not only to clear up conceptual muddles but to reason systematically and ethically about some of the major social and political problems we face,
to illuminate which ethical values are relevant to the context and why, and to give some direction to what we should do. Using the tools of political theory, he tells us the value and dangers of multiculturalism, the significance of political secularism in religiously diverse societies, the
continuing relevance of some socialist ideas and explains why modernity must not be viewed only as a monolithic, homogenizing process.
He asks what, if any, the cultural injustices of colonialism are and how we should respond to them, assesses the value of institutions such as Truth and
Reconciliation in societies that have gone through violence and injustice on a massive scale, argues why it is urgent to jettison stereotypes of one another held by religious and secular persons, clarifies the importance of free expression in democratic societies, and how the state should act amidst
growing intolerance and offers a morally complex reflection on 9/11. The book also includes philosophical essays on the methodology of social science.
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Rajeev Bhargava is Director at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi.