Politics: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780192853882

Kenneth R. Minogue
128 Pages
112 x 179 mm
Pub date
Feb 2000
Very Short Introductions


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  • Ideal for anyone interested in politics who wants an introduction to the theoretical background of politics
  • Minogue has a lively, clear style of writing

In this provocative but balanced essay, Kenneth Minogue discusses the development of politics from the ancient world to the twentieth century. He prompts us to consider why political systems evolve, how politics offers both power and order in our society, whether democracy is always a good thing, and what future politics may have in the twenty-first century. 


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

About the author: 

Kenneth Minogue, formerly Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics, and author of a number of books, including he Liberal Mind (1961), Nationalsim (1967), and Alien Powers: The Pure Theory of Idealogy (1985), as well as academic essays on a great range of problems in political theory.

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. - Maurice Cranston

Minogue is an admirable choice for showing us the nuts and bolts of the subject. - Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

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