The new Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects from politics to classics. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each book in the series provides trenchant, provocative, yet balanced discussions on the central issues of the field, gives a readable historical account of the subject, and demonstrates how each particular area of study has developed and shaped society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering readers an affordable, accessible, and complete reference library. Stimulating and lively, the Very Short Introductions are indispensable guides and essential reading for anyone interested in the development of these influential fields.
Providing the general reader and the student with an introduction to the central issues of political science, A Very Short Introduction to Politics shows how political trends and maneuvers develop and how they help shape our society. Kenneth Minogue, with his lively and popular style, begins with a discussion of issues arising from a historical account of politics, and goes on to offer chapters dealing with the Ancient Greeks and the idea of citizenship; Roman law; medieval Christianity and individualism; freedom since Machiavelli and Hobbes; the challenge of ideologies; democracy, oligarchy, and bureaucracy; power and order in modern society; and politics in the West. Readable and pithy, this entertaining introduction is perfect for anyone looking for an accessible overview of the subject.
`This is a fascinating book which sketches, in a very short space, one view of the nature of politics the reader is challenged, provoked and stimulated by Minogue's trenchant views.'
Ian Davies, Talking Politics
`a dazzling but unpretentious display of great scholarship and humane reflection.'
Neil O'Sullivan, University of Hull
`Professor Minogue's slim volume is an admirably light and sensible guide to political practitioners and students who want to learn more about the theoretical and historical context of today's controversies.'
Sir Philip Goodhart
`Kenneth Minogue is a very lively stylist who does not distort difficult ideas.'
`Minogue is an admirable choice for showing us the nuts and bolts of the subject.'
Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
1. Why Despots Don't Belong in Politics; 2. The Classical Greeks: How to be a Citizen; 3. The Romans: The Real Meaning of Patriotism; 4. Christianity and the Rise of the Individual; 5. Constructing the Modern State; 6. How to Analyse a Modern State; 7. Relations between States: How to Balance Power; 8. The Experience of Politics: I - How to be an Activist; 9. The Experience of Politics: II - Parties and Doctrines; 10. The Experience of Politics: III - Justice,
Freedom, and Democracy; 11. Studying Politics Scientifically; 12. Ideology Challenges Politics; 13. Can Politics Survive the Twenty-first Century? Further Reading; Index