Using Political Ideas, 4th Edition

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9780471973430: Using Political Ideas, 4th Edition

"I asked my students about their views on this book. All of them agreed that its strength is its ?readability? and comprehensive coverage of the main issues in a study of political ideologies and ideas. Goodwin?s was the book to which my students turned first to find out what the questions under discussion were ?all about?. The strengths of the book are such that a fourth edition is most welcome." Lecturer, Aberdeen University

Have we a duty to conserve the world?s resources for future generations? Does the majority have the right to dictate to minorities in a multicultural society? Is equality more important than personal freedom? Is nationalism a progressive force in the world? This book is of unique interest for everyone concerned with such questions. It offers a critique of contemporary political ideologies and an analysis of the ideas and concepts which we use in political arguments. By revealing the interplay between ideas and ideologies, it shows us why political opponents so often seem to argue at cross-purposes. The book emphasizes the relationship between ideologies, political ideas and day-to-day politics, and shows how political ideas influence not only argument but also political behaviour. The author stresses the importance of theoretical analysis for understanding the political world and for criticizing the ideas and agencies which govern our lives. Using Political Ideas has been strongly influential in the teaching of political philosophy since it was first published in 1982. Professor Goodwin?s lucid style and avoidance of technical jargon make her work accessible to a wide readership. This fourth edition of the book contains two important new chapters, on feminism and Green political thought, and the whole book has been revised to reflect the effect of contemporary events on political thinking.

"It is an immensely valuable and sophisticated book, while also accessible: I?ve been dipping around in it, and shall continue to dip!" Ben Pimlott, Professor of Politics and Contemporary History, University of London.

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From the Back Cover:

"Comprehensive, and covers the main ideologies in an interesting way . . . takes a critical and engaging perspective . . . framed in the context of debates around the meaning and purpose of theoretical enquiry . . . a more rewarding read than its competitors."
—Madeleine Davis, Department of Politics, Queen Mary, University of London.

"This book is pitched at a good level for bright and interested undergraduates . . . the combination of ideologies and concepts in one book is a major selling point."
—Professor Paul Taggart, Professor of Politics, University of Sussex

"Pulls off the enviable coup of being scholarly and yet not scary as well as providing genuinely fresh insights for the more familiar reader."
—Dr Peter Handley, School of Political, Social, and International Studies, University of East Anglia

"An outstandingly useful text . . . I look forward to a fifth edition being made available"
—Mark Donovan, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Cardiff

Using Political Ideas is a unique blend of political philosophy, political theory and history of political thought.  It combines a critique of the major ideologies of recent and contemporary society with an analysis of the ideas that form the very stuff of political debate. By exposing the interplay between ideas and ideologies, it shows why political opponents often speak at cross-purposes and why rational agreement is so hard to achieve in politics.

The fifth edition of this well respected and widely known text will be welcomed by all those interested in questions such as:

  • Is equality more important than personal freedom?
  • Does the majority have the right to dictate to the minority in multicultural society?
  • Is nationalism a progressive force in the world?

With a new chapter on the political ideologies of the twenty-first century, and greater emphasis on contemporary issues such as multiculturalism, citizenship and identity throughout the book, this new edition is the ideal starting point for students and anyone else who needs an introduction to political thought.

About the Author:

Barbara Goodwin is Professor of Politics at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Her books include Justice by Lottery, The Politics of Utopia (with Keith Taylor) and Social Science and Utopia. She has broadcast two series of programmes about democracy on the BBC World Service. Her interests range widely in politics, philosophy and social science.

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