This volume offers an incisive overview of central issues and controversies in political thought and analysis. It includes major discussions of the idea of the modern state, contemporary theories of the state, problems of power and legitimation, new forms of democratic ideal, citizenship and social movements, the direction of public policy and the fate of sovereignty in the modern global system. While analysing these topics, the author critically assesses the thought of many of those who have contributed decisively to political discussion. Among those whose works are discussed are classic figures such as Hobbes, Locke, Mill and Marx, as well as contemporary writers such as Habermas, Offe and Giddens.
Political Theory and the Modern State is an ideal resource for students seeking an introduction to modern politics and political sociology. It is also an original statement about the many competing perspectives in political thought today.
David Held is Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science .
Preface. Introduction. 1. Central Perspectives on the Modern State. 2. Class, Power and the State. 3. Legitimation Problems and Crisis Tendencies. 4. Power and Legitimacy. 5. Liberalism, Marxism and the Future Direction of Public Policy. 6. The Contemporary Polarization of Democratic Theory:. The Case for a Third Way. 7. Citizenship and Autonomy. 8. Sovereignty, National Politics and the Global System. 9. A Discipline of Politics?. Index.