The History of Political Theory and Other Essays

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Cambridge University Press, 1996 - History - 235 pages
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In this collection of recent essays (several appearing in English for the first time), John Dunn brings his characteristically acute and penetrative insight to a wide range of political issues. In the first essay, 'The history of political theory', Professor Dunn argues for the importance of a historical perspective in the study of political thought. Other pieces engage with central concepts of political philosophy such as obligation, trust, freedom of conscience and property. A group of studies tackle specific contemporary problems and future dangers, for example racism and the dilemma of humanitarian intervention. The volume as a whole articulates the many dangers, but also the huge importance of, contemporary politics, and provides a representative collection of work by one of the most astute political commentators writing today.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
The History of Political Theory
11
Contractualism
39
Political obligation
66
Trust
91
The claim to freedom of conscience freedom of speech freedom of thought freedom of worship?
100
Property justice and common good after socialism
121
The dilemma of humanitarian intervention the executive power of the Law of Nature after God
136
Specifying and understanding racism
148
Political science political theory and policy making in an interdependent world
160
Democracy the politics of making defending and exemplifying community Europe 1992
178
Is there a contemporary crisis of the nation state?
196
Political and economic obstacles to rapid collective learning
211
The heritage and future of the European left
219
Index
229
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

John Dunn is a Fellow of King's College and Professor of Political Theory at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of The Political Thought of John Locke, Western Political Theory in the Face of the Future, Modern Revolutions, and The History of Political Theory, and the editor of Democracy:
The Unfinished Journey.

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