Political philosophy occupies a curious position in the intellectual
landscape. On the one hand, as a branch of philosophy, it deals with
general, theoretical issues, eschewing the practical questions of, for
example, how to administer a social security system. On the other, as a
branch of politics, it is part of a sphere of human activity which is
almost by deﬁnition engaged in the real world. There is thus a kind of
tension within the subject between the essential engagement of politics
and the frequent disengagement of the philosopher.