In Defence of Politics

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Continuum, 2000 - Political Science - 288 pages
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First published in 1962, Bernard Crick's classic account of the meaning and benefits of politics is now updated for a new century. Crick asserts that politics, with its compromises and power struggles, remains the only tested alternative to government by coercion, making both freedom and order possible in heterogeneous societies. For Crick, politics is messy and complex, and his book defends it against those who would identify it with (and reduce it to) ideology, democracy, nationalism or technology.
The fifth edition includes a substantial new preface and an afterword 'on how politicians can threaten citizenship and common humanity', which darkens and subtly subverts the original finale of the book, 'in praise of politics'. In it, Crick discusses the popular distrust for politicians both in the USA and the UK, arguing that they have lowered the level of public debate for short-term gain; he looks at the tension between party government and citizenship; and he discusses how such short-termism is preventing timely attempts to tackle despoilation of the global environment.

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Preface to the Fifth Edition
The Nature of Political Rule
A Defence of Politics Against Ideology

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About the author (2000)

Political theorist Bernard Crick was born in London in 1929. He earned a degree in economics in 1950 and a doctorate in political economy in 1956 from University College in London. He taught at numerous universities including Harvard University, McGill Univeristy, the University of California at Berkeley, the London School of Economics, the University of Sheffield, and Birkbeck College. He wrote numerous books during his lifetime including The American Science of Politics (1958), In Defence of Politics (1962), The Reform of Parliament (1964), and George Orwell: A Life (1980). He also edited the journal Political Quarterly for almost 40 years. He died from cancer on December 19, 2008 at the age of 79.

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