Interpreting Political Responsibility

Interpreting Political Responsibility : Essays, 1981-89

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The task of political theory is to show human beings how they have good reason to act in the historical situation in which they find themselves. The central theme of "Interpreting Political Responsibility" is the increasingly inefffectual contribtuion of modern academic study of political theory to carrying out this task. Human beings today depend more on the ability of a few for prudent and skilful political agency than ever before. There are many reasons for this dependence: the nuclear capability of the great world powers, the financial systems of the major capitalist states, the massive trade flows which affect virtually every modern population, the ecological effect of human production. This book presents the first coherent attempt to relate these factors systematically to one another, and considers the lack of progress in reconceiving contemporary political agency in the light of their cumulative presence.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 310 pages
  • 152 x 229mm | 589g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0745608272
  • 9780745608273

Table of contents

Introduction; what is living and what is dead in the political theory of John Locke?; trust and political agency; rights and political agency; rights and political conflict; liberty as a substantive political value; revolution; country risk - social and cultural aspects; responsibility without power - states and the incoherence of the modern conception of political good; the politics of representation and good government in postcolonial Africa; Unger's "politics" and the appraisal of political possibility; elusive community - the political theory of Charles Taylor; reconceiving the content and character of modern political community.
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