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A History of Political Thought: From Antiquity to the Present

A History of Political Thought: From Antiquity to the Present

Bruce Haddock

ISBN: 978-0-745-64084-6

Sep 2008, Polity

320 pages

In Stock

$79.95

Description

This book is a comprehensive introduction to the history of political thought, tracing the development of arguments and controversies from ancient Greece, through different forms of community, state and empire, to today's global concerns. Bruce Haddock highlights the bewildering variety of contexts that have framed political thinking, yet also displays structural features that have proved to be remarkably stable over time. An important theme in the book is the need to see political philosophy, even in its most abstract formulations, as a response to historically contingent circumstances, without limiting its relevance to those circumstances. The emphasis throughout is on political thinking as a response to hard choices. Major thinkers covered include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Grotius, Locke, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Hume, Kant, Rousseau, Burke, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Lenin, Schmitt, Nietzsche, Foucault, Oakeshott and Rawls.

The book treats political philosophy and theory as a tentative engagement with a fractured and controversial past. Yet political thinking remains the exercise of a burden of a responsibility that is inescapable for us. Haddock introduces a history that continues to shape our understanding of ourselves as political and historical creatures.

A History of Political Thought will be of interest to students and scholars of politics, history and philosophy.

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Acknowledgements.

1. Introduction.

2. Nature and Convention.

3. Law.

4. The Earthly City.

5. The State.

6. Rights.

7. Enlightenment.

8. Revolution.

9. The Age of Ideologies.

(i) Liberalism.

(ii) Conservatism.

(iii) Nationalism.

(iv) Socialism.

(v) Communism.

(vi) Fascism.

10. Liberal Democracy.

11. Global Politics.

Suggestions for Further Reading.

"Haddock's prose is clear and engaging and its texture is enriched by a wide range of reference ... it will serve as an excellent overview for students of political thought, introducing them to the major concepts and thinkers and helping to persuade them of their continued importance."
Times Higher Education

"A lively and erudite exploration of the history of political ideas, providing a lucid narrative of the history of political concepts and quandaries from Greece to today."
International Affairs

"Bruce Haddock has produced a book that is as profound as it is comprehensive and thought-provoking. He takes us from the pre-history of political thought to today's global politics, and does so with scholarly authority, clarity and elegance. This will undoubtedly become one of the standard works of reference in the history of political thought."
Jeremy Jennings, University of London

"Offers an admirably accessible and succinct survey of the main contours of Western political thought, from the ancient Greek city-state to today's global village."
Terence Ball, Arizona State University

"Bruce Haddock tells the story of the history of Western political thought from its beginnings to the present in all its rich diversity in a wonderfully engaging and intelligent manner. He combines enormous erudition with an accessible style and wise judgement, to show how the best political thinking has always been a response to hard choices, provoked by particular historical circumstances, while also transcending those circumstances. The book will be an illuminating and provoking read whether this is one's first introduction to the subject or even if you think you know it all already."
John Horton, Keele University


  • The most comprehensive single volume history of political philosophy text on the market covering all the key themes and thinkers from antiquity to the present day.

  • Accessible and engaging, it traces the development of arguments and controversies from ancient Greece, through different forms of community, state and empire, to today’s more global concerns.

  • Unlike other books on the market which are organised chronologically, this book adopts a primarily thematic approach to the topic.

  • Major thinkers covered include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Grotius, Locke, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Hume, Kant, Rousseau, Burke, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Lenin, Schmitt, Nietzsche, Foucault, Oakeshott and Rawls.

  • Lucidly written by a leading academic in the field, this book is the perfect introduction to a very important topic.