Contemporary Political Thought

Contemporary Political Thought : A Reader and Guide

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Contemporary Political Thought: A Reader and Guide is a foundation textbook in political theory. It brings together readings by leading exponents of contemporary political theory with lucid introductions, and is the first book in the area to combine these pedagogical elements. The book is divided into 12 sections covering: * From the twentieth to the twenty-first centuries * interpreting political thought now and then * liberalisms * conservatisms * marxisms * communitarianism * feminism * ecologism and environmentalism * post-structuralism and post-modernism * multi-culturalism * political thought beyond the Western tradition * democratic theory for a new century Each section contains several influential texts that provide discussion of various key theoretical positions. The introductions elucidate some of the main currents within the area of thought, and the areas of most significant tension, give cross-references to other theories, and contextualise the readings that follow. An indispensable aid for students and lecturers alike, Contemporary Political Thought is a significant introduction to theoretical approaches to politics. Key Features * Contemporary Political Theory is a core course on most undergraduate politics degrees * '2 in 1' structure offers value for money for cash-strapped students * Each section includes a 5000-word introduction to the subject + 3 or 4 key texts * An annotated bibliography guides the student through the range of further reading * A large glossary (with c.250 entries) offers definitions of terms and biographies of figures found in the text * Cross-referencing used throughout the textshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 688 pages
  • 170 x 240 x 38mm | 1,138.53g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 0748613838
  • 9780748613830

Table of contents

Section 1: Histories, Interpretations and Pre-Cursors; Section Introduction; Chapter One: Political Theory in the Twentieth Century by John Seery; Chapter Two: Interpreting Political Thought by Melissa Lane; Section 2: Traditions and their discontents; Section Introduction; Chapter 3: Liberalisms by Mark Evans; Chapter 4: Conservatisms by Alan Finlayson; Chapter 5: Marxisms and Post-Marxisms by Terrell Carver; Section 3: Alternative Visions and Revisions; Section Introduction; Chapter 6: Communitarianism by Mike Kenny; Chapter 7: Feminism by Kate Nash; Chapter 8: Ecologism and Environmentalism by Tim Hayward; Chapter 9: Post-Structuralism and Postmodernism by Iain MacKenzie; Section 4: New Directions?; Section Introduction; Chapter 10: Multi-Culturalism and the Theory and Practice of Normative Political theory by Tariq Modood and Adrian Favell; Chapter 11: Political Thought Beyond the Western Tradition by Oliver; Leaman; Chapter 12: Democratic Theory for a New Century by Anna Marie Smith; Detailed TOC; Preface; Notes on Contributors; General Introduction; Section 1: Histories, Interpretations and Pre-Cursors; Section Introduction; Chapter One: Political Theory in the Twentieth Century by John Seery; Readings; Hannah Arendt, 'Understanding and Politics'; Sheldon Wolin, 'Political Theory as a Vocation', American Political Science Review; Michel Foucault, 'Right of Death and Power Over Life', extract from The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction by Michel Foucault; Chapter Two: Interpreting Political Thought by Melissa Lane; Readings; R.G. Collingwood, selection from An Autobiography; John Dunn, selection from 'The History of Political Theory' in The History of Political Theory and Other Essays; H-G Gadamer, selection from Truth and Method; Section 2: Traditions and their discontents; Section Introduction; Chapter 3: Liberalisms by Mark Evans; Readings:; Alan Gewirth, extract from 'The Epistemology of Human Rights', Social Philosophy and Policy; Richard Rorty, extract from 'Human Rights, Rationality, and Sentimentality' from Truth and Progress: Philosophical Papers Volume 3; John Rawls, extract from Political Liberalism; John Rawls, extract from Interview with Bernard Prusak, Commonweal; Sir Isaiah Berlin, extract from 'The Pursuit of the Ideal' from The Crooked Timber of Humanity; John Gray, 'Oakeshott on Law, Liberty and Civil Association' from his Liberalisms; Chapter 4: Conservatisms by Alan Finlayson; Readings:; Michael Oakeshott, extract from 'Rationalism in Politics' in Rationalism and Politics and Other Essays; Roger Scruton, extract from The Meaning of Conservatism; Chapter 5: Marxisms and Post-Marxisms by Terrell Carver; Readings:; Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, extract from Hegemony and Socialist Strategy; Alex Callinicos, extracts from Theories and Narratives: Reflections on the Philosophy of History; Section 3: Alternative Visions and Revisions; Section Introduction; Chapter 6: Communitarianism by Mike Kenny; Readings:; Michael Sandel, 'The Procedural Republic and the Unencumbered Self', Political Theory; Mary Ann Glendon, extracts from Rights Talk; Amitai Etzioni, extracts from The New Golden Rule; Geoff Mulgan, 'Beyond the Lure of Off-The-Shelf Ethics', The Independent; Chapter 7: Feminism by Kate Nash; Readings:; Anne Phillips, extract from Which Equalities Matter?; Liz Frazer and Nicola Lacey, extract from The Politics of Community; Iris Marion Young, extract from Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays in Feminist Philosophy and Social Theory; Judith Butler, 'Contingent Foundations: Feminism and the Question of Postmodernism' in Judith Butler and Joan Scott, Feminists Theorize the Political; Chapter 8: Ecologism and Environmentalism by Tim Hayward; Readings:; Andrew Dobson, extract from Green Political Thought; Robert Goodin, extract from Green Political Theory; Vandana Shiva, extract from Staying Alive; Chapter 9: Post-Structuralism and Postmodernism by Iain MacKenzie; Readings:; Chantal Mouffe, extracts from The Return of the Political; William Connolly, extract from 'A Critique of Pure Politics', Philosophy and Social Criticism; Judith Butler, extract from Gender Trouble; Section 4: New Directions?; Section Introduction; Chapter 10: Multi-Culturalism and the Theory and Practice of Normative Political Theory by Tariq Modood and Adrian Favell; Readings:; Will Kymlicka, extract from Multicultural Citizenship; Iris Marion Young, extract from Justice and the Politics of Difference; Bhikhu Parekh, extract from Rethinking Multiculturalism; Chapter 11: Political Thought Beyond the Western Tradition by Oliver Leaman; Readings:; D.T. Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture; Mao Tze Tung, Selected Works of Mao Tze Tung, vol. 1; Khomeini, Islam and Revolution; Chapter 12: Democratic Theory for a New Century by Anna Marie Smith; Readings:; Judith Butler, 'Sexual Inversions' in Donna Stanton (ed.) Discourses of Sexuality; Chandra Talpade Mohanty, 'Women Workers and Capitalist Scripts: Ideologies of Domination, Common Interests and the Politics of Solidarity', in M. Jacqui Alexander and Chandra Talpade Mohanty (eds.), Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures; Gwendolyn Mink, Welfare's End; Bibliography; Glossary; Acknowledgements.show more

Review quote

His admirable introduction to this collection [offers] an account of the concerns of political theory and of its potential role in actual political life, that is both accessible to those new to the field and seeking orientation in a complex, fragmented subject, and reflexively aware of its role in the making and remaking of that subject! The collection has the feel not only of 'A Reader and Guide' - doing exactly what it says on the tin, so to speak - but also of an intervention in, and engagement with, the field it seeks to delineate. And it is all the more interesting and exciting for that... Any tutor charged with the task of convincing a group of sceptical students as to why they need to be studying political theory could do a lot worse than recommend they read Finlayson's 'General Introduction' to the book! The whole package is designed not merely as an overview of the field, but also as a useful teaching-aid and resource - no bad thing given the escalating costs of books and the relative impoverishment of students. The individual essays by contributors vary in style and approach! All are accessible and all are worth reading, borth for students and academics alike! As a reader and a guide the book succeeeds. As an incitement to think clearly and critically about politics - and as an example of such thinking - it succeeds admirably. This is an ambitious text that will be very useful in the classroom because of its commitment to present a very broad range of contemporary political thought in both a historical and an intellectual context. -- Professor Lisa Disch, University of Minnesota Well organised, including all the topics that a course on contemporary political thought should cover, and several other important topics that most texts omit. -- Professor Mark Graber, University of Maryland There is a real need for a book of this kind. I know of no other text which covers this range of material and certainly not one which includes several readings. Suitable for both undergraduate and masters level introductory courses in contemporary political theory and I would certainly recommend it as essential reading for such courses. -- Dr Susan Stephenson, University of Southampton His admirable introduction to this collection [offers] an account of the concerns of political theory and of its potential role in actual political life, that is both accessible to those new to the field and seeking orientation in a complex, fragmented subject, and reflexively aware of its role in the making and remaking of that subject! The collection has the feel not only of 'A Reader and Guide' - doing exactly what it says on the tin, so to speak - but also of an intervention in, and engagement with, the field it seeks to delineate. And it is all the more interesting and exciting for that... Any tutor charged with the task of convincing a group of sceptical students as to why they need to be studying political theory could do a lot worse than recommend they read Finlayson's 'General Introduction' to the book! The whole package is designed not merely as an overview of the field, but also as a useful teaching-aid and resource - no bad thing given the escalating costs of books and the relative impoverishment of students. The individual essays by contributors vary in style and approach! All are accessible and all are worth reading, borth for students and academics alike! As a reader and a guide the book succeeeds. As an incitement to think clearly and critically about politics - and as an example of such thinking - it succeeds admirably. This is an ambitious text that will be very useful in the classroom because of its commitment to present a very broad range of contemporary political thought in both a historical and an intellectual context. Well organised, including all the topics that a course on contemporary political thought should cover, and several other important topics that most texts omit. There is a real need for a book of this kind. I know of no other text which covers this range of material and certainly not one which includes several readings. Suitable for both undergraduate and masters level introductory courses in contemporary political theory and I would certainly recommend it as essential reading for such courses.show more

About Alan Finlayson

Alan Finlayson is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Wales, Swansea. Co-editor (with Jeremy Valentine) of Politics and Post-Structuralism: An Introduction (EUP, 2002) and co-author of Contemporary Social and Political Thought: An Introduction (1999)show more

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