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Are political disputes collisions between the conflicting desires of different people or are they capable of rational resolution? Do our political beliefs represent views about what is convenient for ourselves or our convictions about what is morally right? Stanley Kleinberg points out that political argument is conducted on the assumption that political questions can be rationally resolved and our political beliefs can be morally justified.But is this assumption correct? This book proceeds from discussing competing definitions of politics and the nature of ideology to an examination of the different approaches to politics inherent in ecomic liberalism, welfare liberalism, traditional conservatism, Marxism and Western constitutional socialism. In examining the arguments of liberals, conservatives and socialists, the author does t focus exclusively on the work of political theorists such as Adam Smith, Edmund Burke and Karl Marx, but also draws attention to party manifestos and the words of practising politicians. Stanley Kleinberg's conclusions provide an insight t only into controversies of political theory but also into the nature of rational argument, providing a much needed and clear introduction to two important, and independent, disciplines.
Stanley Kleinberg is Senior Lecturer in Political Studies at the University of Stirling. He took his first degree in philosophy, his second in politics and is an experienced teacher of both subjects.