By Andrew Gamble
This ebook is a concise advisor to the most doctrines and tendencies in Western social and political idea because the French Revolution. sincerely and easily written, the booklet contains short biographical info of significant person thinkers in addition to an annotated bibliography which supplies assistance to additional interpreting.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Modern Social and Political Thought
Such a conception of human interaction is only possible where a market exists or one can be imagined. It is the spread of exchange relationships - of commodities and money - that gives rise to such notions. Societies are conceived simultaneously as both very simple, because they are based upon the natural propensities of individuals, and at the same time as exceedingly complex, because individuals become more and more dependent on one another for the satisfaction of their needs as the division of labour spreads and their own work becomes more specialised.
Already contained in this conception of economic activity is a new political conception of the state, a state authority that has considerable powers but is restricted to a specific role - enforcing the general rules that govern civil society. It must be strong enough to discharge that role, but restrained enough not to interfere in detail in the events and arrangements and contracts of civil society. If the state regulates but does not interfere, then competition between individuals is not only a natural human propensity but also the means by which the general interest is realised.
The idea that social change can be accomplished politically, and that the state is the crucial association to which all members of a society belong - these are notions that gradually emerge in modern political thought. S Sovereignty The theory of the modern state can be tackled in terms of two central themes: sovereignty, concerned above all with the relationship of the individual to the state; and political economy, the problem of the relationship of state power to civil society. In the development of the concept of sovereignty can be seen the attempts to assert theoretically the character of the new secular public power against older views.