An Introduction to Political Thought

An Introduction to Political Thought : A Conceptual Toolkit

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Description

This textbook is designed to equip students with a basic 'conceptual toolkit' for the study of political thought: (i) a basic political vocabulary, (ii) a conceptual vocabulary and (iii) an historical vocabulary. By mastering these vocabularies, students will be able to engage more deeply and confidently with political thought and the moral and political worlds in which they live. Organised chronologically to trace the history of political thought, the book follows a unique dual structure which introduces both key thinkers and core concepts. Each chapter is written bearing in mind this two-tier organisation and explicitly draws out important elements of both the historical and conceptual vocabularies. On completion, the student will be equipped with an historical and conceptual map to orient them in further study, as well as a clear grasp of the basic vocabulary in which such study is undertaken.Key Features: * Designed as a course text: structured to fit the demands of modularised teaching * Equips the student with basic political, historical and conceptual vocabularies from which they can build a critical glossary of terms * Adopts an engaging and innovative approach to the study of Political Theory * Key thinkers are taken as the starting point for the exploration of important conceptual questions * Political thinkers covered include: Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Bentham, Burke, Rawls, Parekh and Rorty * Topics covered include: human nature, political legitimacy, utilitarianism and rights, distributive justice, relativism, multiculturalism, international relations, conservatism, feminism and postmodernism
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 24mm | 618g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 0748616799
  • 9780748616794

About Peri Roberts

Peri Roberts is a Senior Lecturer in the School of European Studies at Cardiff University. He is author of /Political Constructivism/ (2007). Peter Sutch is a Senior Lecturer in the School of European Studies at Cardiff University. He is author of /Ethics, Justice and International Relations/ (2001) and co-author, with J. Elias, of /International Relations: The Basics/ (Routledge, 2007).
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Table of contents

[NB: there is a dual table of contents - one allowing the student to follow a chronological path (History of Political Thought), the other allowing a route to be traced through Political Concepts and Ideas]; History of Political Thought/ Political Concepts & Ideas; Introduction; 1: What is Political Theory?/ 1: What is Political Theory?; I: Classical Origins of Political Thought; 2: Plato/ 2: Is There a Universal Moral Order?; 3: Aristotle/ 3: Is Politics Natural?; II: Modern Developments in Political Thought; 4: Hobbes, Locke & Rousseau/ 4: Liberty & Human Nature: What is political freedom?; 5: Social Contractarians: Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau/ 5: Political Legitimacy & the Artificiality of Politics: Why obey the state?; 6: Marx & Socialism/ 6: The Artificiality of Man; III: Contemporary Understandings of Political Thought; 7: Bentham, Utilitarianism and Rights/ 7. How do we take people seriously?; 8: Rawls, Nozick & Walzer/ 8: Distributive Justice; 9. The Politics of Groups: Kymlicka, Parekh, Walzer and Pogge/ 9. Multiculturalism and International Political Theory; IV: Challenges to Universalism and Foundationalism; 10. Conservatism: Hume, Burke and Oakeshott/ 10. Conservatism: Reason vs Tradition; 10: Feminism & Postmodernism/ 9: What's Wrong With Universal Justice?; 10: Review & Conclusions.
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Review quote

As well as its versatility, another great strength of this book compared with some of the other textbooks designed for the 'intro to political theory market' is that its voice is just right. This seems really to have been written with the first-year student in mind. The editors write in a way that is clear, intelligent and engaging without being at all condescending. Both the authors bring great depth of knowledge in the history of political thought to the writing of this book. But each provides complementary strengths and emphases as well: Sutch in IR theory and Roberts in contemporary political theory. The book itself emphasises a dual approach to political theory: a chronological treatment of themes in the history of political thought and careful attention to arguments and to the development of conceptual and theoretical issues. This is the key idea of the book. What results is an excellent textbook, one which carries through the particular approach outlined better than any other book I know of. -- Professor Rex Martin, Kansas University A book which presents a conceptual introduction and an overview of the development of political theory would be very welcome. The approach the authors intend taking is novel and would provide an interesting text for undergraduates perhaps new to the world of political ideas. The central aim of furnishing students with a basic vocabulary of concepts is sensible and again most welcomed... The book would be a serious competitor to existing textbooks. -- Dr Keith Faulks, University of Central Lancashire Bears all the hallmarks of a textbook that has been tested, honed and refined in the classroom for some considerable time... There is, in short, a real need for this book. -- Dr Iain Mackenzie, University of Kent As well as its versatility, another great strength of this book compared with some of the other textbooks designed for the 'intro to political theory market' is that its voice is just right. This seems really to have been written with the first-year student in mind. The editors write in a way that is clear, intelligent and engaging without being at all condescending. Both the authors bring great depth of knowledge in the history of political thought to the writing of this book. But each provides complementary strengths and emphases as well: Sutch in IR theory and Roberts in contemporary political theory. The book itself emphasises a dual approach to political theory: a chronological treatment of themes in the history of political thought and careful attention to arguments and to the development of conceptual and theoretical issues. This is the key idea of the book. What results is an excellent textbook, one which carries through the particular approach outlined better than any other book I know of. A book which presents a conceptual introduction and an overview of the development of political theory would be very welcome. The approach the authors intend taking is novel and would provide an interesting text for undergraduates perhaps new to the world of political ideas. The central aim of furnishing students with a basic vocabulary of concepts is sensible and again most welcomed... The book would be a serious competitor to existing textbooks. Bears all the hallmarks of a textbook that has been tested, honed and refined in the classroom for some considerable time... There is, in short, a real need for this book.
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