The aim of this book is to provide a primer in political theory by exploring the use and significance of the major concepts encountered in political analysis, clustered into related groups. In addition to general updating throughout, three broad changes have been made for this new edition. First, the focus of the book has been extended to take a much fuller account of the international/global dimension of politics, reflecting the fact that the disciplinary divide between politics and international relations has become increasingly difficult to sustain. In this light, a new chapter (Chapter 12, Security, War and World Order) deals with conceptual and theoretical issues related to key aspects of world politics. ‘Thinking globally’ features have been introduced to consider where, how and how meaningfully political ideas and concepts have been revised in the light of globalizing trends (global governance, cosmopolitan democracy, global social justice and so on). Chapter 4 has been revised to include a discussion of both the concept of ransnationalism and the implications of nationalism for world politics. New ‘tradition’ boxes have also been included on cosmopolitanism, nationalism and realism.
Second, greater attention has been paid to non-Western and postcolonial approaches to political theory, helping to temper (but certainly not remove altogether) the book’s essentially Western-centric orientation. ‘Beyond the West’ features have been introduced, each of which examines a particular non- Western approach to the topic or issue under consideration, drawing on Islamic, Buddhist, Chinese, Indian, African, Latin American and other traditions of thought. A new ‘tradition’ box has also been added focusing on postcolonialism. Third, the focus on the politics of difference has been expanded, in the light of the increased salience of the issues of identity and diversity. Chapter 9 has been revised to reflect in greater depth on the concept of identity, allowing for, among other things, a consideration of important debates about gender and multiculturalism. Among the other changes in this edition are a more extensive discussion of the nature and development of political theory in Chapter 1, and the inclusion of questions for discussion at the end of each chapter. Additional materials can be found in the book’s companion website. I would like to express my thanks for their advice, support and encouragement to my publishers at Palgrave, Steven Kennedy and Stephen Wenham, and to Maddy Hamey-Thomas for providing editorial assistance throughout. This book is dedicated to my daughters-in-law, Helen and Jessie