Roundtable - Critical Theory in Political Science: An Uninhabitable Home (?)

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Political Theorists usually complain about how marginal they became in the – for the most part – neo-positivist discipline of Political Science. Yet, the situation is even worse for critical theorists and critical theory: whereas (almost) nobody would (openly) argue that “normative theory”, particularly in its formal and analytic face, has no room in political science, the value of approaches such as neo/postmarxist, feminist, postcolonial and queer studies is in question all the time. Where is the ‘home’ of critical theory -- ‘social science’, ‘theory’, the humanities, none/all of them? Does critical theory imply reframing the way we speak about the relationship between theory and empirical analysis – and how? What is the current situation of critical theorists and critical theory within our discipline? What could potentially be the role of critical theory in the scholarly realms of theory, analysis and epistemology? Or, in other words, what are the contributions of critical theory to Political Science? Is there a future for critical theory in our discipline? Are the very terms in which this panel is announced useful or, alternatively, do we need to be asking other questions? Which ones? The panel gathers international scholars whose work provides relevant input to tackle these pressing issues.