Politicians invoke grand ideas: social justice, democracy, liberty, equality, community. But what do these ideas really mean? How can politicians across the political spectrum appeal to the same values? This new edition of Adam Swift's highly readable introduction to political philosophy answers these important questions, and includes new material on global justice, feminism, and method in political theory, 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 political principles that should govern their society. But clear thinking is difficult in an age when established orthodoxies have fallen by the wayside. 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 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.
Adam Swift is Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick.