An Introduction to Political Thought emphasizes a dual approach to political theory by providing a chronological overview of both major figures and texts as well as an understanding of the development of key concepts and themes. In this way the authors provide a basic sense of the history and development of political thought and a critical grasp of the theoretical and philosophical issues at the heart of politics.
Beginning with the idea that laws and constitutions are only beneficial insofar as they give effective expression to our moral and political beliefs, the authors argue that moral and political ideas are the foundations of politics. Political philosophers covered in depth include: Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Bentham, Rawls, and Burke. Key concepts such as the moral order, liberty, human nature, freedom, the social contract, distributive justice, liberalism, socialism, feminism, human rights, and multiculturalism are also all covered. In exploring these issues the authors offer a critical guide through key arguments in the history of political thought and contemporary political theory.