`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 York
This 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.
PART ONE: CONTEMPORARY LIBERAL THEORY Rawls and Justice as Fairness Introduction The Original Position Equal Opportunity Cohen's Egalitarian Critique The Principles that Apply to Individuals Who are the Least Advantaged? Beitz on Global Justice A Political Conception of Justice Nozick and the Entitlement Theory of Justice Introduction The State: Is it Necessary? Wilt Chamberlain and the Entitlement Theory The Principle of Initial Acquisition The Principle of Rectification Conclusion: Self Ownership and Private Property Gauthier and Justice as Mutual Advantage Introduction Hobbes and the State of Nature Gauthier and the Compliance Problem What is a Rational Bargain? The Limits of Justice as Mutual Advantage Dworkin on Equality Introduction Dworkin on Equality of Resources Welfare Reform and the Basic Income Proposal Political Equality and Democracy Against Luck Egalitarianism PART TWO: ALTERNATIVE TRADITIONS Communitarianism Introduction Deontological Liberalism and the Unencumbered Self State Neutrality Walzer on Complex Equality Miller on Nationalism Conclusion Multiculturalism Introduction: The Politics of Recognition Kymlicka and the Rights of National Minorities Polyethnic Rights Barry Against Multiculturalism Deliberative Democracy Introduction: The Importance of Democracy Moving Beyond the Aggregated Model of Democracy How Substantive are the Principles of Democracy Retaining the Critical Edge of Deliberative Democracy Critically Assessing the Ideal of Deliberative Democracy Feminism Introduction Liberal Feminism The Public/Private Dichotomy The Politics of Difference Conclusion