`This text provides an up to date account of how things currently stand in political philosophy, and will provide an excellent introduction for students from any background. It gives a lucid and careful account of the central controversies and sites of disagreement in political theory over the last thirty years and rather than sacrifice theoretical sophistication and nuance for the sake of clarity and accessibility, it admirably achieves both' - Catriona McKinnon, University of YorkThis comprehensive textbook provides a complete and accessible introduction to the main theorists and issues in contemporary political theory today. The text is organized into two major parts. The first, Contemporary Liberal Theory, outlines four distinct liberal theories of justice to introduce the work of Rawls, Nozick, Gauthier and Dworkin. The second, Alternative Traditions, introduces the theorists and themes associated with four key areas of contemporary debate: communitarianism, multiculturalism, deliberative democracy and feminism. By giving students questions for consideration and using applied examples throughout, the text illustrates the practical relevance of contemporary theoretical debates to everyday issues in policy and politics. The result is an essential overview of all the main traditions, issues and positions in political theory today that will serve as an invaluable resource for all students of contemporary political theory, political ideas and political philosophy. Colin Farrelly is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Introduction to Contemporary Political Theory will complement Contemporary Political Theory: A Reader edited by Colin Farrelly and also published by SAGE Publications.
- Introduction 97
- Deontological Liberalism and the Unencumbered Self 99
- State Neutrality 102
- Walzer and Complex Equality 106
- Miller on Nationalism 110
- Conclusion 115
Stuart Hampshire succinctly captures one of the core commitments of liberals when he claims that ‘the essence of a liberal morality is the rejection of any final and exclusive authority natural or supernatural, and of the accompanying compulsion and censorship’ (Hampshire, 2000: 35). Central to the liberal morality is the belief that individual rights should be given a high priority. The emphasis liberals place on individual rights has given rise to a distinct criticism which dominated many of the debates in political theory in the 1980s and 1990s – communitarianism. The ‘liberal-communitarian’ debate covers a varied range of issues and theorists and there is no simple ...