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A Review of Political Theory: An Introduction by Andrew Heywood
Political theory is a branch of philosophy that deals with the fundamental questions of politics, such as the nature and purpose of the state, the rights and obligations of citizens, the sources and limits of political authority, and the criteria for evaluating political institutions and actions. Political theory is also a field of study that examines the history of political thought, the diversity of political traditions, and the debates and controversies among political thinkers.
One of the most popular and comprehensive textbooks on political theory is Political Theory: An Introduction by Andrew Heywood. Heywood is a British author who has written several books on politics, global politics, and political ideologies. His book Political Theory: An Introduction was first published in 1999 and has since been revised and updated several times. The latest edition, published in 2015, covers a wide range of topics and concepts in political theory, from classical to contemporary, from Western to non-Western, from normative to empirical.
The book is divided into 15 chapters, each focusing on a cluster of interrelated concepts that are central to political theory. For example, chapter 1 introduces the concepts of politics, power, authority, legitimacy, and democracy; chapter 2 discusses the concepts of human nature, justice, rights, and obligation; chapter 3 explores the concepts of liberty, equality, social justice, and welfare; and so on. Each chapter also examines how these concepts have been used and interpreted by different thinkers and traditions, such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, feminism, anarchism, nationalism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, Islamism, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc. The book also pays attention to the global dimensions of political theory and the challenges posed by transnationalism and cosmopolitanism.
The book is written in a clear and accessible style that makes it suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as general readers who are interested in political theory. The book also provides useful features such as summaries, key terms, questions for discussion, further reading suggestions, diagrams, tables, boxes, and web links. The book is well-researched and up-to-date with the latest developments and debates in political theory.
In conclusion, Political Theory: An Introduction by Andrew Heywood is an excellent textbook that provides a concise and broad-ranging introduction to the contemporary study of political theory. It covers the foundational concepts that have shaped political thought from ancient to modern times as well as the diverse perspectives that have enriched political theory from different cultures and regions. It also addresses the relevant issues and challenges that face political theory in the 21st century. It is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about political theory or to deepen their understanding of politics. aa16f39245