Democracy and Dictatorship

Democracy and Dictatorship : The Nature and Limits of State Power

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In this volume Norberto Bobbio examines some of the central themes of political theory and presents a systematic exposition of his views. With great astuteness and profound scholarship, Bobbio unfolds the elements for a general theory of politics. Bobbio's wide-ranging argument is focused on four themes: the distinction between the public and the private; the concept of civil society; differing conceptions of the state and differing ways of understanding the legitimacy of state power; and the relation between democracy and dictatorship. Bobbio's discussion draws on a wealth of theoretical and historical material, from Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes and Locke to Marx, Weber, Habermas and Foucault. By analysing the development of different languages of politics in relation to changing social and historical contexts, Bobbio deepens our understanding of the concepts we use to describe and evaluate modern political systems.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 250 pages
  • 138 x 216mm
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Italian
  • 0745603947
  • 9780745603940

Table of contents

Part 1 The great dichotomy: public/private; a dichotomous pair; corresponding dichotomies; the evaluative use of the great dichotomy; the second meeting of the dichotomy. Part 2 Civil society: the various meanings; the Marxian interpretation; the Hegelian system; the natural law tradition; civil society as civilized society; the current debate. Part 3 State, power and government: towards the study of the state; the name and the thing; the state and power; the foundation of power; state and law; the forms of government; forms of state; the end of the state. Part 4 Democracy and dictatorship: democracy in the theory of governmental forms; the descriptive use; the evaluative use; the historical use; modern democracy; representative democracy and direct democracy; political democracy and social democracy; formal democracy and substantive democracy; Ancient dictatorship; modern dictatorship; revolutionary dictatorship.
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