Political Philosophy vs Political Theory
Political philosophy and Political theory are two subjects that differ from each other in certain aspects. Political philosophy deals with topics, namely, justice, property, rights, liberty and law. On the other hand, political theory deals with the theory of politics and how it originated. This is the basic difference between political philosophy and political theory.
Political theory deals with the general theory of constitution and citizenship. In other words, it can be said that political theory defines and explains the various forms of government, namely, kingship, tyranny, aristocracy, oligarchy, polity and democracy. On the other hand, political philosophy deals with the duties of the citizens towards a legitimate government.
It is said that Aristotle formed the constitutional theory based on the theory of justice. The conception of universal justice forms the basis of political theory. Great thinkers of past have said that politics is based on universal justice. On the other hand, epistemology and metaphysics are used in the study of political philosophy. The origin of the state, its institutions and laws are studied as part of the study of political philosophy. This is not the case with political theory.
Political theory is logical in its explanation and conclusions. On the other hand, political philosophy is metaphysical in its explanation and conclusions. The explanation of the disposition of power in society forms the crux of political theory. Power has to be nicely balanced among three entities, namely, states, groups, and individuals. Political theory deeply studies the balancing of these three entities.
Political philosophers had been thinkers all through their life. On the other hand, the experts of political theory had been practitioners all through their life. Political theory develops a materialistic outlook, whereas political philosophy develops a philosophical look. These are the differences between political philosophy and political theory.