How do we justify authority?
What is political philosophy? A philosophical study of political ideas such as authority, freedom, justice and democracy? An inquiry into the best form of government? An attempt to rationally justify forms of authority? Johanna Oksana asks exactly these questions as she opens this brilliant new guide to political philosophy.
Rather than attempting to provide the reader with a definite answer, the book invites readers to recognise many of the issues encountered in everyday life as political, the outcome of human practices that incorporate power relations, social norms and obligations. It suggests that political philosophy should be understood as an open-ended, critical project that to some extent concerns everyone.
The book employs an original structure which will be a huge help to both students and general readers seeking to understand the topic. Each chapter, which moves chronologically from antiquity to the twentieth century, focuses on selected classic texts in political philosophy, which are briefly introduced and analysed. The texts then function as a springboard for a discussion of central contemporary issues in political philosophy.