2nd Edition

The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy

Edited By Gerald Gaus, Fred D'Agostino, Ryan Muldoon Copyright 2025
    952 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    952 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy, Second Edition is a comprehensive, definitive reference work, providing an up-to-date survey of the field, charting its history and key figures and movements, and addressing enduring questions as well as contemporary research. Features unique to the Companion are:

    • an extensive coverage of the history of social and political thought, including separate chapters on the development of political thought in the Islamic world, India, and China as well in modern Germany, France, and Britain
    • a focus on the core concepts and the normative foundations of social and political theory
    • a section devoted exclusively to distributive justice, the central issue of political philosophy since Rawls' Theory of Justice
    • extensive coverage of global justice and international issues.

    The Companion ‘s seventy-four commissioned chapters, by leading scholars from throughout the world, are divided into eight thematic sections: The History of Social and Political Theory; Political Theories and Ideologies; Normative Foundations; The National State and Beyond; Distributive Justice; Political Concepts; Concepts and Methods in Social Philosophy; and Issues in Social and Political Philosophy.

    Expanded, updated, and revised throughout, this Second Edition includes new chapters on Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE); Political Epistemology; Race and Ethnicity; Power; Foucault; and New Diversity Theory. 

    PART I

    The History of Social and Political Theory

    1.      Plato's Political Philosophy

    George Klosko

    2.      Aristotle's Social and Political Philosophy

    Rachana Kamtekar and Jeremy Reid

    3.      Aquinas

    Paul Sigmund

    4.      Medieval Political Thought

    Cary J Nederman

    5.      Machiavelli

    Vickie B Sullivan

    6.      Hobbes

    S A Lloyd

    7.      Locke

    Eric Mack

    8.      Rousseau

    Christopher Bertram

    9.      Hume and Smith on Justice

    Stephen Buckle

    10.    Kant

    Oliver Sensen

    11.    Hegel

    David Edward Rose

    12.    Mill

    C L Ten

    13.    Marx

    David Leopold

    14.    Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth Century British Thought

    Maria Dimova-Cookson

    15.    Continental Political Philosophy

    James Bohman

    16.    French Political Thought in the Twentieth Century

    Jeremy Jennings

    17.    Foucault and Political Philosophy

    Mark Pennington

    18.    The Political Philosophy of China

    Tongdong Bai

    19.    Indian Political Philosophy

    A Raghuramaraju

    20.    Islamic Political Thought

    Andrew F March



    Political Theories and Ideologies

    21.    Anarchism

    Roderick T Long

    22.    Liberalism

    Michael Freeden

    23.    Conservatism

    John Kekes

    24.    Republicanism

    Christian Nadeau

    25.    Marxism and Contemporary Political Thought

    Alex Callinicos

    26.    Feminism and the History of Political Philosophy

    Penelope Deutscher

    27.    Environmentalism

    Mathew Humphrey



    Normative Foundations

    28.    Contractarianism

    Claire Finkelstein

    29.    Contractualism and Political Liberalism

    Aaron James

    30.    Utilitarianism and Consequentialism

    Dale E Miller

    31.    Perfectionism

    Steven Wall

    32.    Pluralism

    George Crowder

    33.    Virtue Ethics and Political Philosophy

    Tristan J Rogers and Daniel C Russell

    34.    Natural Law and Rights Theory

    David S Oderberg



    Distributive Justice

    35.    Luck Egalitarianism

    Zofia Stemplowska

    36.    The Difference Principle

    Rex Martin

    37.    Left Libertarianism

    Hillel Steiner

    38.    Libertarianism

    Billy Christmas

    39.    Desert

    David Schmidtz

    40.    Needs and Distributive Justice

    Gillian Brock

    41.    The Capability Approach and Distributive Justice

    Ingrid Robeyns

    42.    Intergenerational Distributive Justice

    Clark Wolf



    PART V

    The National State and Beyond

    43.    Nationalism

    Arthur Hill and Margaret Moore

    44.    Human Rights and Cosmopolitanism

    David A Reidy and Jon Mandle

    45.    Multiculturalism

    Chandran Kukathas

    46.    Global Justice and Politics

    Thom Brooks

    47.    Justice and Borders

    David Miller

    48.    War

    Fernando R Tesón



    Political Concepts

    49.    Equality

    Thomas Christiano

    50.    Freedom

    Katrin Flikschuh

    51.    Autonomy

    Horacio Spector

    52.    Power

    Peter Morriss and Pamela Pansardi

    53.    Authority and Legitimacy

    Fabienne Peter

    54.    Democracy

    Robert B Talisse

    55.    Rights

    Jonathan Quong

    56.    Toleration

    Peter Jones




    57.    Social Evolution

    Gerald Gaus and John Thrasher

    58.    The Pragmatist Project in Political Philosophy

    Cheryl Misak

    59.    Postmodernism and Politics

    Todd May

    60.    Social Choice Theory

    Jacob M Nebel and John A Weymark

    61.    Rational Choice Theory

    Peter Vanderschraaf

    62.    Discourse Theory

    William Rehg

    63.    New Diversity Theory

    Fred D'Agostino

    64.    Political Epistemology

    Brian Kogelmann and Aylon Manor

    65.    PPE and Political Philosophy

    C. M.  Melenovsky



    Issues in Social and Political Philosophy

    66.    Education

    Harry Brighouse

    67.    Health

    Norman Daniels

    68.    Marriage, Sex, and the Family

    David Archard

    69.    Work

    Nien-He Hsieh and Julie L Rose

    70.    Punishment

    Mark R Reiff

    71.    Terrorism

    C A J Coady

    72.    Paternalism, Moralism, and Markets

    Mark D White

    73.    Religion in Public Life

    Kevin Vallier

    74.    Race and Ethnicity: Their Intersections and Concepts

    Naomi Zack


    Gerald F. Gaus was, before his death in 2020, the James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona and an intellectual giant in the field of political philosophy.  The author of ten books and more than 100 papers, he was best known for his work in the public reason tradition.  An obituary collaboratively written by his colleagues and former students noted that Gaus was interested in teaching us about “the complexities of our social world, rather than looking for opportunities to reinforce our biased ways of understanding it.” 

    Fred D’Agostino is Emeritus Professor of Humanities at The University of Queensland (Australia) where he has been President of the Academic Board and Executive Dean of Arts. He was editor of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy and of PPE: Politics, Philosophy and Economics. His best known work is Free Public Reason (OUP, 1996) and he has worked in political philosophy and scientific method. His recent work has been on complexity and on the scholarly and scientific disciplines.

    Ryan Muldoon is Professor of Philosophy and Director of PPE at the University at Buffalo.  He is the author of Social Contract Theory for a Diverse World: Beyond Tolerance (Routledge, 2016).  His work focuses on diversity and dynamism in liberal political philosophy.

    “A wonderful resource: comprehensive, clear and authoritative.” - Dr Kai Spiekermann, Professor of Political Philosophy, London School of Economics