How to Rule? : The Arts of Government from Antiquity to the Present book cover
1st Edition

How to Rule?
The Arts of Government from Antiquity to the Present

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after September 30, 2021
ISBN 9780367764487
September 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

A guide through history for those perplexed about the fate of democracy and the government of diverse societies. In war and in peace, amid disruptive change and during reconstruction, a government of people and events will always be called for. But in this age of anxiety and uncertainty, people on the left and the right are losing confidence in governments, elections and politicians. Many ask whether democracy has failed, and ponder alternatives. Knowing how to govern, and how to be governed, are necessary for solving collectively our pressing social and ecological problems.

This book rediscovers diverse models of government, including the successful statecraft and drastic mistakes of past rulers and their advisers. From ancient to modern times, what methods of government have arisen and succeeded, or what were their fatal flaws? What ethical and political ideas informed the rulers and the ruled? How have states dealt with unexpected calamities or with cultural and religious differences? And what kept things (more or less) running smoothly? Amid rapid change and political dissent, it’s timely to re-examine the ideas and practices that governed large populations and guided their rulers. In an age of political distrust, disruptive populism and global crises, we need to rearm ourselves with knowledge of history and diverse political ideas, the better to address contemporary problems.

This book will appeal to students in political theory, political history, or history of government and public policy.

Table of Contents

1.The arts of government 2. Enduring ideas 3. The great empires: Rome, Persia and China 4. Ruling by the book: monotheism and government 5. Rulers of no fixed abode 6. Metastatic imperialism: global colonial rule 7. Things made from people: republics, representatives, revolutions 8. Let’s get organised: civil administration 9. Ends and limits of government: the twentieth century 10. Conclusion

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Grant Duncan is a University Teacher, Political Theorist and Media Commentator living in Auckland, New Zealand, and working at Massey University.