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{{unreferenced, date=June 2015 A political theorist is someone who engages in constructing or evaluating political theory, including
political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its topics include politics, liberty, justice, prop ...

political philosophy
. Theorists may be academics or
independent scholar Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group)The Independents were a group of Modern Art, modernist painting, painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, New Hope, Pennsylvan ...
s. Here the most notable political theorists are categorized by their
-ism ''-ism'' is a suffix in many English words, originally derived from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. I ...
or
school of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such ...
, with a remaining category ("Other") for those theorists who do not fit into any of the major traditions.


Anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the State (polity), state, which it holds to b ...

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Mikhail Bakunin Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (; – 1 July 1876) was a Russian revolutionary A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term ''revolutionary'' refers to somethi ...

Mikhail Bakunin
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Murray Bookchin Murray Bookchin (January 14, 1921 – July 30, 2006) was an American anarchist, political philosopher, trade-union organizer, and educator. A pioneer in the environmental movement, Bookchin formulated and developed the theory of social ec ...

Murray Bookchin
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Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gesture ...

Noam Chomsky
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William Godwin William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher and novelist. He is considered one of the first exponents of utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a family of normative ethical theories that pre ...
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Emma Goldman Emma Goldman (, 1869May 14, 1940) was an anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the ab ...

Emma Goldman
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Peter Kropotkin Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin (; russian: link=no, Пётр Алексе́евич Кропо́ткин ; 9 December 1842 – 8 February 1921) was a Russian people, Russian anarchist, socialist, revolutionary, economist, sociologist, historian, ...

Peter Kropotkin
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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (, , ; 15 January 1809, Besançon – 19 January 1865, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated popu ...

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
* James C. Scott *
John Zerzan John Zerzan ( ; born August 10, 1943) is an American anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls f ...
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Howard Zinn Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922January 27, 2010) was an American historian, playwright, philosopher and socialist intellectual, thinker. He was chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College, and a political science professor ...

Howard Zinn


Classical liberal Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism Liberalism is a Political philosophy, political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed and equality before the law. Liberals espouse a wide a ...

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Raymond Aron Raymond Claude Ferdinand Aron (; 14 March 1905 – 17 October 1983) was a French Philosophy, philosopher, Sociology, sociologist, Political science, political scientist, and journalism, journalist. Aron is best known for his 1955 book ''The Opium ...
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Frédéric Bastiat Claude-Frédéric Bastiat (; ; 30 June 1801 – 24 December 1850) was a French economist, writer and a prominent member of the French Liberal School. A Freemason Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace th ...
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Isaiah Berlin Sir Isaiah Berlin (6 June 1909 – 5 November 1997) was a Latvian-born British social and political theorist, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , ...
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Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was an American polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, ', "having learned much"; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-E ...

Benjamin Franklin
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Hugo Grotius Hugo Grotius (; 10 April 1583 – 28 August 1645), also known as Huig de Groot () and in Dutch as Hugo de Groot (), was a Dutch humanist, diplomat, lawyer, theologian, jurist, poet and playwright. A teenage intellectual prodigy, he was bor ...

Hugo Grotius
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Friedrich Hayek Friedrich August von Hayek ( , ; 8 May 189923 March 1992), often referred to by his initials F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian-British economist An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science Social science is the ...
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Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethic ...

Immanuel Kant
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John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism". Considered one of t ...

John Locke
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James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the 4th president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. ...

James Madison
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John Milton John Milton (9 December 16088 November 1674) was an English poet and intellectual who served as a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England The Commonwealth was the political structure during the period from 1649 to 1660 when Englan ...

John Milton
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Montesquieu Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, Lot-et-Garonne, Montesquieu (; ; 18 January 168910 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French judge, intellectual, man of letters, historian, and po ...
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Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British philosopher, academic and social commentator. One of the 20th century's most influential philosophers of science, Popper is known for his rejection of the cla ...

Karl Popper
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Samuel von Pufendorf Samuel Freiherr (; male, abbreviated as ), (; his wife, abbreviated as , literally "free lord" or "free lady") and (, his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as title of nobility, titles of nobility in the German-speak ...
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Joseph Schumpeter Joseph Alois Schumpeter (; February 8, 1883 – January 8, 1950) was an Austrian political economist. He was born in Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawijo; la, Moravia) is a h ...
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Adam Smith Adam Smith ( 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist, philosopher as well as a Ethics, moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy, and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, also known as ''The Father of Economics'' * ...

Adam Smith


Conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aest ...

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Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Irish_Politician.html" ;"title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title="Ne ...
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James Burnham James Burnham (November 22, 1905 – July 28, 1987) was an American philosopher and political theorist. He chaired the philosophy department at New York University; His first book was ''An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis'' (1931). B ...
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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German people, German philosopher. He is considered one of the most important figures in German idealism and one of the founding figures of Western philosophy, with hi ...
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Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; sometimes known as Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; 5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spo ...
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Russell Kirk Russell Amos Kirk (October 19, 1918 – April 29, 1994) was an American political theorist, moral philosopher, moralist, historian, social critic, and literary critic, known for his influence on 20th-century American conservatism. His 1953 book ' ...

Russell Kirk
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Gustave Le Bon Charles-Marie Gustave Le Bon (; 7 May 1841 – 13 December 1931) was a leading French polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, ', "having learned much"; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, ...

Gustave Le Bon
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Joseph de Maistre Joseph Marie, comte de Maistre (; 1 April 1753 – 26 February 1821) was a Duchy of Savoy, Savoyard philosopher, writer, lawyer and diplomat who advocated social hierarchy and monarchy in the period immediately following the French Revolution. Des ...
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Harvey Mansfield Harvey Claflin Mansfield Jr. (born March 21, 1932) is an American political philosopher. He is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor Professor (commonly abbreviated as Prof.) is an Academy, academic rank at university, universities and other ...
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Charles Maurras Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras (; ; 20 April 1868 – 16 November 1952) was a French author, politician, poet, and critic. He was an organizer and principal philosopher of ''Action Française'', a political movement that was monarchist, anti-parl ...

Charles Maurras
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Michael Oakeshott Michael Joseph Oakeshott FBAFBA may refer to: * Federation of British Artists * Federal Bar Association * Fellow of the British Academy * Filsports Basketball Association * First Baptist Academy (Houston, Texas), United States * First Baptist Ac ...

Michael Oakeshott
* Robert D. Putnam *
Wilhelm Röpke
Wilhelm Röpke
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Carl Schmitt Carl Schmitt (; 11 July 1888 – 7 April 1985) was a German jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessarily with a formal ...
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Roger Scruton Sir Roger Vernon Scruton (; 27 February 194412 January 2020) was an English philosopher and writer who specialised in aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociol ...

Roger Scruton
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Leo Strauss Leo Strauss (; ; September 20, 1899 – October 18, 1973) was a German-American political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. Born in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 25 ...
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Alexis de Tocqueville#REDIRECT Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, comte de Tocqueville (; 29 July 180516 April 1859), colloquially known as Tocqueville (), was a French aristocrat, diplomat, political scientist, political philosopher and historia ...

Alexis de Tocqueville
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Eric Voegelin Eric Voegelin (born Erich Hermann Wilhelm Vögelin, ; 1901–1985) was a German-American political philosopher. He was born in Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany's most populous state of North ...


Feminist Feminism is a range of social movements and ideology, ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social gender equality, equality of the sexes. Feminism incorporates the position that societies priori ...

* Wendy Brown *
Raya Dunayevskaya Raya Dunayevskaya (born Raya Shpigel, russian: Ра́я Шпи́гель; May 1, 1910 – June 9, 1987), later Rae Spiegel, also known by the pseudonym Freddie Forest, was the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from ...
*
Nancy Fraser Nancy Fraser (; born May 20, 1947) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom'. The coining ...
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Betty Friedan Betty Friedan ( February 4, 1921 – February 4, 2006) was an American Feminism, feminist writer and activist. A leading figure in the women's movement in the United States, her 1963 book ''The Feminine Mystique'' is often credited with sparking ...

Betty Friedan
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Chantal Mouffe Chantal Mouffe (; born 17 June 1943) is a Belgian political theorist {{unreferenced, date=June 2015 A political theorist is someone who engages in constructing or evaluating political theory, including political philosophy Political philosoph ...
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Martha Nussbaum Martha Craven Nussbaum (, born May 6, 1947) is an American philosopher and the current Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, where she is jointly appointed in the law school and the philoso ...

Martha Nussbaum
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Mary Wollstonecraft Mary Wollstonecraft (, ; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal rela ...

Mary Wollstonecraft


Libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of ...

* David D. Friedman * Hans-Hermann Hoppe * Rose Wilder Lane * Robert Nozick * Ayn Rand * Murray Rothbard * Lysander Spooner * Max Stirner


Marxism, Marxist

* Theodor Adorno * Tariq Ali * Louis Althusser * Cornelius Castoriadis * Friedrich Engels * Frantz Fanon * Antonio Gramsci * Ernesto Guevara, Che Guevara * Ho Chi Minh * C.L.R. James * Kim Il-sung * Ernesto Laclau * Vladimir Lenin * György Lukács * Rosa Luxemburg * Herbert Marcuse * Karl Marx * Antonio Negri * Leon Trotsky


Political theology, Religious

* Muhammad Asad * Muammar Gaddafi * René Guénon * Muhammad Iqbal * Alasdair MacIntyre * Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar * Charles Taylor (philosopher), Charles Taylor * Simone Weil


Social liberalism, Social liberal

* Kenneth Arrow * Jeremy Bentham * Robert Dahl * Amy Gutmann * Will Kymlicka * John Stuart Mill * John Rawls * Michael Walzer


Other

* Gabriel Almond * Hannah Arendt * Aristotle * Chanakya * Cicero * Confucius * Dobrica Ćosić * Ronald Dworkin * David Easton * Erich Fromm * Jürgen Habermas * Johann Gottfried von Herder * Leszek Kołakowski * Niccolò Machiavelli * Mencius * Thomas More * Thomas Paine * Plato * Jean-Jacques Rousseau


See also

* Political science * Political scientist * Politics Lists of people by occupation, Political theorists Lists of philosophers, Political theorist Political philosophers,