Political TheoryA Beginner's Guide
Political Theory
A Beginner's Guide
Is democracy the best form of government? What does it mean to be ‘free’? Why should we obey the government?
In this highly accessible and engaging new introductory textbook, Pete Woodcock examines all these questions and more in a compact outline of the basics of political theory. He takes students step-by-step through the most important answers given by history’s most famous thinkers to the most fundamental questions in politics, covering topics ranging from liberty and justice to gender and revolution.
This new 101 guide to the basics of political theory contains all the essentials for students starting out in political theory, while never being dull. It contains a range of features, including textboxes, study questions and activities, to help students learn effectively. It will be core reading for anyone doing an introductory course in political theory.
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  • February 2020 (hb)
    January 2020 (pb)
  • 176 pages
  • 158 x 234 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509531332
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509531349
  • Open eBook $19.99
  • 9781509531363
Table of Contents
Chapter one: introduction

Chapter two: what is the nature of politics?

Chapter three: is humanity nasty or nice?

Chapter four: why should I obey the state?

Chapter five: is democracy the best form of government?

Chapter six: when can my freedom be restricted?

Chapter seven: what would a just society look like?

Chapter eight: why have women been ignored in the history of political thought?

Chapter nine: when is revolution against government justified?

Chapter ten: conclusion – ideologies
About the Author
Pete Woodcock is Head of the Division of Criminology, Politics, and Sociology at the University of Huddersfield
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‘Pete Woodcock has moved introductory texts two steps forwards with this “big questions” textbook. He grounds political theory in politics, making it relevant to the issues citizens actually confront. This book will reward not only students of political theory, but anyone who wants to think politically.’
Russell Bentley, University of Southampton 

‘Woodcock’s book is well written, provides clear summaries and descriptions of the relevant political theories, and is supplemented by helpful text boxes. Descriptions of the philosophers are very engaging and enhanced by real-world examples that students can readily identify with.’
Elissa B. Alzate, Winona State University

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