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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Contemporary Political Theory

ISBN 9781137299154
Publication Date November 2015
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

Introducing the major theories, issues and concepts in contemporary political theory, this text is a comprehensive and engaging introduction to the field. The book examines a range of topics to explore questions such as:

• What kinds of political community best support democracy?
• Do members of wealthy societies have duties to eradicate global poverty?
• Who or what should be the authority on human rights?

Chapters are carefully organized to enhance learning by first setting out rival perspectives on key political issues which are then compared and analysed through a series of key debates. Discussion boxes are used throughout the book to consider the policy implications of different theoretical perspectives from thinkers including John Rawls, Susan Okin, Isaiah Berlin, Jane Mansbridge and Will Kymlicka. Offering an in-depth survey of the landscape of contemporary political theory and written in an engaging and lively style, this book will equip students with the tools to think through the complex questions whose answers determine our collective political lives.

Andrew Shorten is Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

1. Introduction
2. Political Community
3. Pluralism
4. Representation
5. Democracy
6. Power
7. Freedom
8. Equality
9. Justice
10. Rights
11. Conclusion.


[T]his revised proposal targets a clear readership, and presents its material in a way likely to be useful to students and lecturers. It covers a broad range of concepts and issues in political theory, and offers a clear and more comprehensive alternative to existing texts in this area. Particularly the book presents a more up-to-date and better-organized alternative to Kymlicka's Contemporary Political Philosophy, with a much greater focus on real-world problems. It has a greater range than the Farrelly Introduction , and more internal cohesion and consistency than McKinnon's Issues in Political Theory.' - Kathy Smits, University of Auckland, New Zealand
'[T]he proposed text as outlined would be quite a contribution to the field and [would] fill a void that currently exists. Furthermore, in thinking about how I would deploy such a text within a course syllabus, what I particularly like here is the pedagogical flexibility that such a textbook would offer... I'd be excited to teach with it.' - Robert Glover, University of Maine, USA
'This book promises to be up-to-date, inclusive and covering the field of political theory in a way that other books do not... There is room in the market for this book.' - Gary Browning, Oxford Brookes University, UK
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