A World History of Political Thought

J. Babb, University of Newcastle, UK

A World History of Political Thought is an outstanding and innovative work with profound significance for the study of the history of political thought, providing a wide-ranging, detailed and global overview of political thought from 600 BC to the 21st century. Treating both western and non-western systems of political thought as equal and placing them as they should be; side by side.

‘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 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

‘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

2018 544 pp Paperback 978 1 78643 554 5 £33.56 £27.00 $33.56 $41.95
2018 544 pp Hardback 978 1 78643 552 1 £176.40 £135.00 $176.40 $196.00

Elgaronline 978 1 78643 553 8

Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. is registered in the UK at: The Lypiatts, 15 Lansdown Road,
Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2JA. Registered number: 2041703

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