Relevance of Political Theory

We humans as social beings live together and societies where we share the resources, jobs and rewards. We are also individuals needing some basic human rights. The process of organising state and society therefore becomes important to maximize harmony and prosperity and to allow the circumstances for individual self-realisation. So to facilitate the unity and integrity of human societies or the collective needs of society political theory becomes important it tries to study and find solutions to problems in this process. The relevance lies in evolving various approaches regarding the nature and purpose of the state, the basis of political authority and the best form of government to practice, relations between the state and the individual in the context of his basic rights. Apart from this political theory also seeks to establish the moral criterion for judging the ethical worth of a political state and to suggest alternative political arrangements and practices. To sum up in brief the relevance of political theory lies in the following:

(a) In providing an explanation and description of political phenomenon
(b) helping select the political goals and actions for a community and
(c) helps in providing the basis for making moral judgments.  

Also it has to be remembered increasingly at least in contemporary times states face challenges of poverty, corruption, over-population and ethnic and racial tensions, environment pollution etc. This is not to mention international problems like conflicts etc. Political Theory seeks to study the present and future problems of political life of the society and to suggest solutions for dealing with those problems. David Held has commented that the task of the political theorist is very great in its complexity because in the absence of systematic study, there is a danger that politics will be left to the ignorant and self-seeking people who are in pursuit of power.  

Thus if one has to systematically think about the nature and purpose of the state and the problems of government while looking at the socio-political reality and keeping in mind the ideals and political philosophy, then one has to take the route of theoretically studying the problem. Thus political theory is relevant. Also studying political theory at an individual level makes one aware of one’s rights and duties and helps one understand and appreciate the socio-political realities and problems like poverty, violence, corruption etc. Political theory is also important because it can go forward basing itself on the theories and propose the means and directions for changing society to establish an ideal society. Marxist theory for instance is an example of a theory which not only proposes the direction but also goes so far as to advocate a revolution for establishing an egalitarian state. If the political theory is sound and it can be transmitted and communicated to people then it can become a very powerful force or the advancement of society and mankind.  

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