This major new textbook will equip students with a complete understanding of contemporary politics, state and society in the United Kingdom today. Key underlying themes include: The differences between traditional and alternative ‘sites of power’ and what we mean by ‘political’ the relationships between politics, society and how individuals become and remain engaged with politics the rapid transformations in contemporary social structures and their impact on social and political life the role of human agency and its significance to social and political action and movements contemporary cultural and social dislocations and their impact on some of the major contested areas of political life today. Key features include: Key concepts and issues Key theorists and writers Discussion questions Comprehensive and accessible, An Introduction to Politics, State & Society is an essential text for all undergraduate students of politics, the contemporary state, power and political sociology.

Introduction: Politics, State and Society

Introduction: Politics, state and society

Key Concepts and Issues

  • Defining politics and the political
  • Political ideologies
  • Political legitimacy
  • Political cultures
  • Political power

Key Theorists and Writers

  • Louis Althusser
  • Ronald Inglehart
  • Steven Lukes
  • Chantal Mouffe

Areas in social life where political struggles take place (known as ‘sites of power’) are not just limited to the actions of those in government, or violent armed struggles between revolutionary groups, but instead politics is a wide category existing at both a macro and micro level. Sites of power in contemporary life can be anything from power in interpersonal communication, gender relations in a family, the ability of a professional group to have their ‘professional’ status recognized in law, up to and including the actions in the House of Commons of those elected to run the country. ...

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