Conceptualizing Politics An Introduction to Political Philosophy
Politics is hugely complex. Some try to reduce its complexity by examining it through an ideological worldview, a one-size-fits-all prescriptive formula or a quantitative examination of as many 'facts' as possible. Yet politics cannot be adequately handled as if it were made of cells and particles: ideological views are oversimplifying and sometimes dangerous. Politics is not simply a moral matter, nor political philosophy a subdivision of moral philosophy. This book is devised as a basic conceptual lexicon for all those who want to understand what politics is, how it works and how it changes or fails to change. Key concepts such as power, conflict, legitimacy and order are clearly defined and their interplay in the state, interstate and global level explored. Principles such as liberty, equality, justice and solidarity are discussed in the context of the political choices confronting us.
This compact and systematic introduction to the categories needed to grasp the fundamentals of politics will appeal to readers who want to gain a firmer grasp on the workings of politics, as well as to scholars and students of philosophy, political science and history.
Part I. What is Politics?
Chapter 1. Politics and Power
Chapter 2. The Subjective Side of Politics: Legitimacy, Identity, Obligation
Excursus 1. What is political philosophy?
Part II. How Politics Works
Chapter 3. Order, institutions, models
Chapter 4. The State
Chapter 5. Government and Democracy
Part III. World Politics and the Future of Politics
Chapter 6. The States: Power, Peace and War in the Anarchical Society
Chapter 7. The Globalised World: a Challenge to Politics
Part I. Globalization and Global Governance
Part II. Global/Lethal Challenges: Politics after Modernity
Excursus 2. Politics and Death
Part IV. Ethics and Politics
Chapter 8. Liberty and Equality
Chapter 9. Justice and Solidarity
Chapter 10. Ethics, Philosophy and Politics
"Furio Cerutti has written a wide-ranging and profound analysis of the nature, the purpose and the morality of politics. In a time of post-truth, fake news, and rising populism across the West he reminds us that the art of government must fail if it does not respect scientific knowledge, and that while it is prudence rather than theoretical knowledge which leads to good choices in politics, clear concepts and rational argumentation are still essential aids. A compelling read." - Professor Andrew Gamble, Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Cambridge
"The wager on which Conceptualizing Politics rests is that by focusing on the concepts fundamental to politics one can break through the complexity ordinarily associated with that subject. On that score this book is an extraordinary success. Recommended not only to those who wish to be introduced to politics but also to those who want to deepen their knowledge of the subject." - David M. Rasmussen, Professor, Boston College; Editor-in-Chief, Philosophy and Social Criticism
‘The book, rich of inspiration as it is, should not be considered one of the several textbooks on political philosophy and should be rather considered as a text which can be read at different layers by students, scholars and practitioners. As for the students, the book has the merit to go beyond a didactic attitude which privileges history of ideas to the reflection on ideas, encouraging them to reflect on topic, more than on authors.’ - Sonia Lucarelli, The International Spectator, Italian Journal of International Affairs