Political Concepts and Political Theories introduces political theory by focusing on enduring disputes about the nature of freedom, power, equality, justice, democracy, and authority. The first part of the book examines the nature of these disputes. It clarifies what we are disagreeing about when we offer different interpretations of political concepts, and why our disagreements about them are so difficult to resolve. Providing accessible accounts of the views of Plato, Wittgenstein, and recent theorists such as Gallie, Gaus argues that our interpretation of a political concept such as liberty is not freestanding but linked to our understandings of power, equality, justice, democracy, and other values. To understand a particular political concept, Gaus argues, we must place it in a political theory, which constitutes a system of such concepts. The second part of the book examines the ways in which liberal, socialist, and conservative thinkers have interpreted these enduring political concepts. Gaus considers a wide range of classical and contemporary advocates of these theories.Political Concepts and Political Theories presents in an accessible way an innovative approach to the analysis of political concepts and the study of political theory. As such, it will be of interest both to those looking at political concepts and political theories for the first time, as well as to scholars who have already examined these issues.
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