Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780192803955

David Miller
160 Pages
113 x 175 mm
Pub date
Jun 2003
Very Short Introductions


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  • A lucid and non-technical introduction to the key issues in political philosophy
  • Asks questions such as 'could we live together in societies without politics?' and 'where should the limits of politics be set?'
  • Will appeal to readers curious about politics in general
  • Tackles fundamental questions about how we should judge political systems as being good or bad

This book introduces readers to the concepts of political philosophy. It starts by explaining why the subject is important and how it tackles basic ethical questions such as 'how should we live together in society?' It looks at political authority, the reasons why we need politics at all, the limitations of politics, and whether there are areas of life that shouldn't be governed by politics. It explores the connections between political authority and justice, a constant theme in political philosophy, and the ways in which social justice can be used to regulate rather than destroy a market economy. David Miller discusses why nations are the natural units of government and whether the rise of multiculturalism and transnational co-operation will change this: will we ever see the formation of a world government?


1: Why do we need political philosophy?
2: Political Authority
3: Democracy
4: Freedom and the Limits of Politics
5: Justice
6: Feminism and Multiculturalism
7: Nations, States, and Global Justice

About the author: 

David Miller, Professor of Political Theory, University of Oxford. Official Fellow, Nuffield College, Oxford
David Miller is Professor of Political Theory, University of Oxford, and an Official Fellow of Nuffield College. He has written books and articles on many aspects of political theory and philosophy. In 2002 he was elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy. He lives in Oxford and is married with three children.

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