Recommend to your Librarian

An Introduction to Political Thought

A Conceptual Toolkit

Peri Roberts, Peter Sutch

Edition: 2

Paperback (Order Now – Reprinting)
eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

Your conceptual toolkit for the study of political thought

Praise for the first edition

'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.'
Politics Studies Review

New for this edition

  • Brand new chapter on international political thought, reflecting one of the most striking developments in contemporary political theory

This textbook gives you all the vocabulary you need – political, conceptual and historical – to engage confidently and deeply with political thought and the moral and political worlds in which we live.

It traces the history of political thought from Plato and Aristotle to Kymlicka and Rorty, following a unique dual structure that introduces key thinkers and core concepts together, making it suitable for any course structure.

Topics covered include

Universal moral order o liberty o political freedom o the state o socialism o utilitarianism o distributive justice o group politics o multiculturalism o international political theory o conservatism o feminism o postmodernism o global justice

Thinkers covered include

Plato o Aristotle o Hobbes o Locke o Rousseau o Marx o Bentham o Rawls o Nozick o Walzer o Kymlicka o Parekh o Pogge o Hume o Burke o Oakeshott o Rorty


[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
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
IV: Challenges to Universalism and Foundationalism
9. The Internationalisation of Political Thought/ 9. Universal Principles in a Society of States
10. Burke and Oakeshott/ 10. Conservatism: Reason vs Tradition
11: Feminism and Antifoundationalism/ 11: What's Wrong with Universal Justice?/
Afterword/ Current Engagements in Political Thought

About the Author

Peri Roberts is Senior Lecturer in the School of European Studies at Cardiff University.

Peter David Edward Sutch is Reader in Political and International Theory at Cardiff University, where he teaches classes in political theory, global ethics and the politics of international law.

Inspection Copy

You must log in or register to request an inspection copy.