Political PhilosophyA Beginners' Guide for Students and Politicians
Political Philosophy
A Beginners' Guide for Students and Politicians, 4th Edition
Politicians invoke grand ideas: social justice, democracy, community, liberty, equality. But what do these ideas really mean? How can politicians across the political spectrum appeal to the same values?

This fourth edition of Adam Swift's highly readable introduction to political philosophy answers these important questions, and includes new material on issues such as nationalism, immigration and multiculturalism, as well as updated guides to further reading. This lively and accessible book is ideal for students, but it also brings the insights of the world's leading political philosophers to a wide general audience. Using plenty of examples, it equips readers to think for themselves about the ideas that shape political life.

Democracy works best when both politicians and voters move beyond rhetoric to think clearly and carefully about the values and principles that should govern their society. But clear thinking is difficult in an age when established orthodoxies have fallen by the wayside and political debate is becoming increasingly tribal and raucous. Bringing political philosophy out of the ivory tower and within the reach of all, this book provides us with tools to cut through the complexities and penetrate the smokescreens of modern politics. In so doing, it makes a valuable contribution to the democratic process and this new edition will continue to be essential reading for students of political philosophy and theory.
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  • March 2019 (hb)
    April 2019 (pb)
  • 288 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509533343
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9781509533350
  • Open eBook $21.99
  • 9781509533374
Table of Contents


Preface to Fourth Edition


Part 1: Social Justice

Part 2: Democracy

Part 3: Liberalism and Community

Part 4: Liberty

Part 5: Equality



About the Author
Adam Swift is Professor of Political Theory at University College London.
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‘As a teacher and a writer, Adam Swift’s career has been about connecting the high ideals of political theory with the vital fabric of everyday life. His book is a welcoming invitation into the world of political philosophy and urgent injunction to think more deeply and read more widely. This highly readable and relevant introduction to political thought is important reading for politicians and students alike.’
Ed Milliband
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