At a time when voter turnout is apparently declining, many are wondering what actions to take to curb the political alienation and rise of cynicism among younger generations. In this context, the school seems to be an important nerve centre for action. Although Quebec schools do not specifically offer political education, we believe that some knowledge, subject-specific skills, cross-curricular competencies and general areas of training are likely to contribute to the formation of political thought. But what exactly do we mean by «political thought»? The purpose of this article is to propose a construction of this concept, notably by situating it and distinguishing it from other central concepts of human sciences. We therefore believe that this article will provide a theoretical foundation for a broader research project on citizens’ «political competence», which adds to political thought the tendency to take an interest in and participate in public life.