The State of Nature in Comparative Political Thought: Western and Non-Western Perspectives (Global Encounters: Studies in Comparative Political Theory)

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ISBN 10: 0739167634 / ISBN 13: 9780739167632
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Synopsis: This book addresses a fundamental concept in political thought—the “state of nature”—through a comparative and cross-cultural approach. Western social contract thinking usually falls along lines identified with scholars like Hobbes or Rousseau, with accordant debate over whether humans are good, bad, or just selfish; conflict prone or cooperative; egocentric or altruistic; with subordinate discussions about the proper limits of sovereign authority. Depending on how one views the “natural” condition of human beings and the communities which they build, various questions arise. What constitutes a “good” or natural political order? What is the best basis for understanding the “nature” of sovereignty or political legitimacy, and what is its future? In an age of increased global interaction and potential cultural, civilization-based, misunderstanding, this volume takes the Hobbesian rhetorical device of a pre-social contract “state of nature” and seeks to address this concept—and thereby, many of the aforementioned questions—in light of contributions from non-Western thinkers. In our globalizing age when cultures and peoples increasingly talk and interact, it is not viable to use only Western political thinkers to address allegedly universal concepts. So we overtly seek to break open the frame of reference for any future discussion of the "state of nature."

This volume adds to the emerging body of work grouped under the heading “comparative political thought” and serves as a model for how key political concepts may be addressed in a comparative and cross-civilizational manner. Chapters engage Chinese, Indic, Polynesian, Jewish, Babylonian, and Islamic interpretations of this fundamental question of politics. In addressing competing interpretations of the state of nature, the exclusionary hegemonic aspects of the Western canon may be both exposed and potentially reconciled with alternative visions of political behavior, legitimacy, justice, rights, and “appropriate” social and political behavior.

About the Author: Jon D. Carlson is a lecturer in social sciences, humanities, and arts at the University of California, Merced. His recent works include Myths, State Expansion and the Birth of Globalization and a co-edited volume Maritime Piracy and the Construction of Global Governance.

Russell Arben Fox is professor of political science and director of the Political Science Program at Friends University.

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Title: The State of Nature in Comparative Political...
Publisher: Lexington Books
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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Book Description Lexington Books, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The State of Nature in Comparative Political Thought addresses non-Western conceptions of the state of nature , revealing how basic questions related to political thought are reflected in Chinese, Islamic, Indic, and other cultural contexts. It contributes to the burgeoning field of comparative political theory, and should be of interest to political theorists, regional specialists, students of globalization, as well as anyone interested in non-Western approaches to basic political questions. Seller Inventory # LIO9780739167632

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Book Description Lexington Books, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The State of Nature in Comparative Political Thought addresses non-Western conceptions of the state of nature , revealing how basic questions related to political thought are reflected in Chinese, Islamic, Indic, and other cultural contexts. It contributes to the burgeoning field of comparative political theory, and should be of interest to political theorists, regional specialists, students of globalization, as well as anyone interested in non-Western approaches to basic political questions. Seller Inventory # LIO9780739167632

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