essentially contested concept


Also found in: Wikipedia.

essentially contested concept

a category of general concepts in the social sciences, e.g. POWER, the application of which, according to Gallie (1955) and Lukes (1974), is inherently a matter of dispute. The reason given for this is that competing versions of concepts such as ‘power’ inevitably involve relativity to VALUES. According to this view, hypotheses using concepts such as ‘power’ can be appraised empirically but will remain relative to the evaluative framework within which the particular versions of the concept are couched. There are parallels between this notion and Weber's earlier view that social science propositions are VALUE-RELATIVE (see also VALUE FREEDOM AND VALUE NEUTRALITY). See also POWER.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
THERE is consensus between scholars of security studies that 'security is an essentially contested concept'.
I believe that the very proposition that politics is an essentially contested concept opens up room for criticism; both the supporters and the critics of the thesis didn't interpret it properly.
Gallie, is "an essentially contested concept." (4) "Essentially contested" does not just mean "very hotly contested." (5) It means that there is robust dispute as to the very core of the concept.
Okoye, Adaeze (2009), "Theorising Corporate Social Responsibility as an Essentially contested Concept: Is a Definition Necessary?, Journal of Business Ethics, 89:613-27.
Defining what a refugee truly is thus becomes an historical "question of semantics," charting an "essentially contested concept" that tries to "negotiate a way between the is and the ought" (p.
The many ways that the word "utopia" is used in the collection, mostly without further explanation beyond a footnote, leads me to the conclusion that utopia should be considered an "essentially contested concept," or a concept about which there is fundamental disagreement, which should signal that a writer must carefully stipulate how the concept is being used rather than assume that others will understand without further explanation.
After finding the notion of an unchanging human nature implausible, largely for Darwinian reasons, conceiving now of reality as an "essentially contested concept" (p.
Thus, to speak of politics, or the political, as an "essentially contested concept" involves a considerable understatement.
Ken Osborne sets the tone in the second chapter pointing out that "citizenship is not only an essentially contested concept, it is also fundamentally political in the broad sense" (p.
philosophers call an 'essentially contested concept,'"
Indeed, I think that Canadian Federalism can be regarded as an "essentially contested concept" under the criteria set forth by W.B.