A World History of Political Thought

Paperback

A World History of Political Thought

Second Edition

2nd edition

9781035320967 Edward Elgar Publishing
J. Babb, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, Japan
Publication Date: August 2024 ISBN: 978 1 03532 096 7 Extent: c 532 pp
In this revised and improved second edition of A World History of Political Thought, the comprehensive comparative analysis of political thought from 600 BC to the present day is given even more depth and context. The result is an intriguing and accessible journey through world history and culture.

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Critical Acclaim
Contributors
Contents
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In this revised and improved second edition of A World History of Political Thought, the comprehensive comparative analysis of political thought from 600 BC to the present day is given even more depth and context. The result is an intriguing and accessible journey through world history and culture.

Truly international in scope, the book explores both Western and non-Western systems of political thought with intellectual perceptiveness, and focuses on the works and influence of all the key political thinkers throughout history. Starting from its sophisticated approach to political thought in ancient East Asia, India, Greece and Rome, it delves deeper into medieval Indian and early Islamic political thought adding to its pioneering examination of the influence of Buddhism on East Asian political thinking. Its approach to modern world political thought remains unparalleled.

This timely and incisive book is an indispensable read for academics, researchers and students in politics, political theory and political philosophy as well as East Asian, Indian, Classical, Islamic, European, African, Middle Eastern and Latin American Studies. Most importantly, it is the best way for anyone to understand the range of world thought from the earliest recorded history.
Critical Acclaim
Acclaim for the first edition:

‘This is an amazing book. It is a wide-ranging and often fairly detailed survey of political thought around the world that genuinely takes a global standpoint. It is not that the Western tradition is front and center and then occasionally other views enter; the author engages with the various traditions on their own terms and puts them side by side. There is no book out there that is remotely like this. The fields of political theory and political philosophy will benefit enormously from having this book available.’
– Mathias Risse, Harvard University, US

‘In his ambitious A World History of Political Thought, Babb locates the “foundational thinkers” about politics between 600 and 400 BCE. His key figures were Buddha, Confucius and Socrates, though we know most about the thinking of these three remarkable individuals through the writing of their followers, not themselves. The first identifiable “schools” of political thought, Babb suggests, emerged between 400 and 250 BCE, though he wisely warns that it is essential to be wary of “neat classification” distorting the “messy reality of the emergence of ideas”.
– Ken Booth, International Relations

‘This book is the first attempt to cover all the world''s literate cultures in a single history of political thought. As such, it is a significant achievement.’
– Tony Black, University of Dundee, UK
Contributors
Contents
Contents:
Preface to the second edition vii
Preface to the first edition xii
1 The methodology of comparative history of political thought 1
PART I COMPARATIVE STUDIES
2 The foundational thinkers (600‒400 bce) 22
3 The first ÒschoolsÓ of political thought (400‒250 bce) 46
4 Political thought in the first empires (250 bce–200 ce) 71
5 Metaphysics, ÒreligionÓ and the decline of empires (200‒500) 97
6 Religious belief and political thought (500‒750) 121
7 Religion’s accommodation with political thought (750‒1000) 147
8 Late ÒmedievalÓ political thought (1000‒1300) 170
9 Renaissance and revival (1300‒1540) 195
PART II THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF MODERNITIES
10 Popular religious revolt and state building (1450–1670) 221
11 Enlightenment and historicism (1670‒1790) 248
12 Revolution and romanticism (1770‒1850) 274
13 The Age of Reform (1820‒1870) 291
14 Imperialism and liberalism (1820‒1920) 303
15 Imperialism and the failure of reform (1850‒1900) 316
16 Social unrest and the rise of the left (1810‒1930) 330
17 Ultra-nationalism, fascism and philosophy (1880‒1950) 350
18 Anti-colonialism and neoliberalism (1920‒1980) 375
19 Shifting foundations and return to origins (1980‒2015) 392
Bibliography 413
Glossary of names 442

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