European Political Thought since 1945 (European Culture and Society)

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9780333655603: European Political Thought since 1945 (European Culture and Society)
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This study offers a concise overview of European political thought since 1945. Despite its enormous diversity, Noël O'Sullivan argues that a unifying theme may be found in the need for European political thinkers to respond, either sympathetically or critically, to the following four major requirements posed by the postwar task of democratic reconstruction:

- to restate the theory of the limited state in face of the continuing totalitarian challenge represented by postwar Soviet power
- to provide social integration by developing a coherent ideal of social justice
- to develop a more pluralist theory of the democratic state in response to the claims of feminism, postmodernism and cultural and ethnic minorities
- to extend the ideal of civil association from a national into a supranational concept of European political identity in response to developments such as globalisation.

The study also considers such issues as environmentalism and the emergence of the so-called 'risk society'. O'Sullivan concludes that, while an uneasy compromise has been achieved between the limited state, welfare provision and pluralism, the attempt to resituate this compromise within a supra-national European 'civil' identity may finally subvert the modern ideal of democratic and accountable government.

Clear and accessible, this thematic survey is essential reading for all those interested in political thought in Europe from 1945 to the present.

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About the Author:

N÷EL O'SULLIVAN is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Hull, UK.

Review:

'This is the first synoptic interpretation of European political thought from 1945 to the present. An impressive piece of political theorising in its own right, it represents the culmination of many years of wide-ranging and rigorous scholarship. In my judgement it merits the status of an indispensable volume for teachers and students of political thought.' - John Gray, London School of Economics and Political Science 'O'Sullivan's book is a handy dictionary of European political thinkers, presented within the context of national debates...can be considered as one of the first in the global analysis of how inhabitants of the convulsed period described by Hobsbawm thought their past, present, and future time in political terms.' - Eduardo Romanos - Environment and Planning

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O'Sullivan, Noël
Published by Palgrave (2004)
ISBN 10: 0333655605 ISBN 13: 9780333655603
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