Smita A. Rahman et al., "Globalizing Political Theory" (Routledge, 2022)


Three political theorists, Smita A. Rahman (DePauw University), Katherine A. Gordy (San Francisco State University), and Shirin S. Deylami (Western Washington University) have brought together an excellent edited volume titled Globalizing Political Theory (Routledge, 2022). And this is precisely what this book does—moving beyond theory categories like “the canon” or comparative political theory—and instead examining political theory from its local roots in different places and different spaces. The book explores political theory in a generative way, not working to reproduce a non-western canon, or to focus on geographic regions. Instead, Globalizing Political Theory includes six umbrella themes, threading chapters together within those themes, and often having chapters, authors, thinkers, and ideas in conversation with each other. The six thematic sections of the book are: Colonialism and Empire; Gender and Sexuality; Religion and Secularism; Marxism, Socialism, and Globalization; Democracy and Protest; Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity. Each section includes a rich diversity of political thinking and authorship, pushing past more traditional disciplinary confines and expectations.

Globalizing Political Theory is a useful book in terms of how it is set up and how it also guides the reader, shaping the learning experience. The contributing authors all follow a template that includes spotlighting actual text by the theorists under examination, as well as discussion questions that conclude each chapter. Thus, this is an excellent text to use in classrooms to bring a variety of thinkers and ideas to students exploring political theory. This is also useful for scholars and readers who are interested in broadening their own understandings of political thought.

One of the underlying themes within this collection is how political theory has been used and put into action as political activism. These debates, because they are grounded in local issues and the complexity of daily life, reflect some of the connection between theory and action and how coalitions come together within politics. Thus, Globalizing Political Theory is a teaching book, a scholarly interrogation, and a translation of ideas into action. This is an important text within political theory and political science.

Lilly J. Goren is a professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-host of the New Books in Political Science channel at the New Books Network. She is co-editor of The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (University Press of Kansas, 2022), as well as co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012). She can be reached

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Lilly Goren

Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI.

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