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1. Introduction

2. Looking for the Good Life

3. The Social Contract

4. Ideas systems and Ideologies

5. Equality and fairness

6. Freedom

7. Rights Justice and the Law

 8. Gender and Culture

 9. Nations, War and Terrorism

 10. The Global Perspective

Postscript:  What hope humankind?

Taking it further 


Political Philosophy provides the background for those studying Politics, which is more immediately concerned with the way in which political systems operate.

It's a great discipline for de-coding the arguments of politicians, and setting them in context. You will soon find that there are relatively few genuinely new ideas on the political scene.

From Plato and Machiavelli to Marx and Rawls, it is the subject that gets to grips with the basics of our common life.

Understand Political Philosophy


Understand Political Philosophy provides a general introduction to the subject, and is particularly suitable for students at A Level - whether taking Philosophy, Politics and Government, or General Studies.

Key qestions for this branch of philosophy...

304 pages packed with what you need to get into Political Philosophy!

mugIt seems to me that there is nothing more immediate and relevant than the question 'What is the good life, and how may it be achieved?'

Whether or not we take a direct interest in national or local politics, we cannot avoid being caught up in the laws, traditions and values of the society within which we life, and the 'good life' (whatever we mean by that) cannot practically be achieved in isolation from other people.

Hence, even for those sceptical about the political process or the integrity of politicians, it is always going to be worthwhile to stop and reflect on the values we hold and the sort of society we want to live in.

I hope that this book, which inevitably tries to cover a wide range of topics in a very short space, will encourage you to explore these things further, and to reflect on all the crucial issues - about individual freedom, justice, equality, the use of power, warfare, human rights and so on - that form the bedrock of political debate.

256 pages

2nd edition, 2012

Teach Yourself (Hodder)

ISBN-13: 978-1444157598

Buy it from your local bookshop, or, if you want to buy online, follow one of the links below...




This book is also available here from Amazon in the USA.  

An abbreviated version (with only 96 pages of the original) is also available as Essential Political Philosophy of which the Kindle edition is available at only £1.99! 

And click here for the Flash edition in the USA.