This chapter will delineate the theoretical framework which informs my critique of the current ‘post-political’ Zeitgeist. Its main tenets have been developed in several of my previous works 1 and here I will limit myself to the aspects which are relevant for the argument presented in this book. The most important concerns the distinction I propose to make between ‘politics’ and ‘the political’. To be sure, in ordinary language, it is not very common to speak of ‘the political’ but I think that such a distinction opens important new paths for reflection and many political theorists are making it. The difficulty, though, is that no agreement exists among them concerning the meaning attributed to the respective terms and that may cause a certain confusion. Commonalities exist however which can provide some points of orientation. For instance to make this distinction suggests a difference between two types of approach: political science which deals with the empirical field of ‘politics’, and political theory which is the domain of philosophers who enquire not about facts of ‘politics’ but about the essence of ‘the political’. If we wanted to express such a distinction in a philosophical way, we could, borrowing the vocabulary of Heidegger, say that politics refers to the ‘ontic’ level while ‘the political’ has to do with the ‘ontological’ one. This means that the ontic has to do with the manifold practices of conventional politics, while the 9ontological concerns the very way in which society is instituted.