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Democracy: A Very Short Introduction

Democracy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bernard Crick
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 019280250X
Pages: 130
Year: 2002-10-10
No political concept is more used, and misused, than that of democracy. Looking at key case studies, this explores the history of the doctrine and practice of democracy, and of the usages and practices associated with it in the modern world.
Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction

Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Nigel Warburton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199232350
Pages: 115
Year: 2009-02-26
Voltaire's comment - 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it' - is frequently quoted by defenders of free speech. Yet it is rare to find someone prepared to defend all freedom of speech, especially if the views expressed are obnoxious or obviously false. So where do the limits lie? How important really is our right to freedom of speech? Here, Nigel Warburton offers a concise guide to the important questions facing modern society about free speech: Should a civilized society set limits on the freedom of speech? How can we square free speech with the sensitivities of religious and minority groups? Does copyright law clash with our right to free speech? And how have new technologies such as the Internet changed the debate? This Very Short Introduction is a thought-provoking, accessible, and up-to-date examination of the liberal assumption that free speech is worth preserving at any cost.
Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192803956
Pages: 147
Year: 2003-06-26
This book introduces readers to the concepts of political philosophy. It starts by explaining why the subject is important and how it tackles basic ethical questions such as 'how should we live together in society?' It looks at political authority, the reasons why we need politics at all, the limitations of politics, and whether there are areas of life that shouldn't be governed by politics. It explores the connections between political authority and justice, a constant theme in political philosophy, and the ways in which social justice can be used to regulate rather than destroy a market economy. David Miller discusses why nations are the natural units of government and whether the rise of multiculturalism and transnational co-operation will change this: will we ever see the formation of a world government? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Populism

Populism

Author: Cas Mudde, Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190234873
Pages: 136
Year: 2017-02-01
Populism is a central concept in the current media debates about politics and elections. However, like most political buzzwords, the term often floats from one meaning to another, and both social scientists and journalists use it to denote diverse phenomena. What is populism really? Who are the populist leaders? And what is the relationship between populism and democracy? This book answers these questions in a simple and persuasive way, offering a swift guide to populism in theory and practice. Cas Mudde and Cristobal Rovera Kaltwasser present populism as an ideology that divides society into two antagonistic camps, the "pure people" versus the "corrupt elite," and that privileges the general will of the people above all else. They illustrate the practical power of this ideology through a survey of representative populist movements of the modern era: European right-wing parties, left-wing presidents in Latin America, and the Tea Party movement in the United States. The authors delve into the ambivalent personalities of charismatic populist leaders such as Juan Domingo Peron, H. Ross Perot, Jean-Marie le Pen, Silvio Berlusconi, and Hugo Chavez. If the strong male leader embodies the mainstream form of populism, many resolute women, such as Eva Peron, Pauline Hanson, and Sarah Palin, have also succeeded in building a populist status, often by exploiting gendered notions of society. Although populism is ultimately part of democracy, populist movements constitute an increasing challenge to democratic politics. Comparing political trends across different countries, this compelling book debates what the long-term consequences of this challenge could be, as it turns the spotlight on the bewildering effect of populism on today's political and social life. "
Politics: A Very Short Introduction

Politics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kenneth Minogue
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 019161078X
Pages: 128
Year: 1995-09-07
In this provocative but balanced essay, Kenneth Minogue discusses the development of politics from the ancient world to the twentieth century. He prompts us to consider why political systems evolve, how politics offers both power and order in our society, whether democracy is always a good thing, and what future politics may have in the twenty-first century.
Socialism: A Very Short Introduction

Socialism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael Newman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192804316
Pages: 171
Year: 2005-07-28
Offering a practical and historical perspective on socialism this work explains the evolution of socialist ideas from the French Revolution, and examines why past attempts to implement socialism might have failed.
Governance: A Very Short Introduction

Governance: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Mark Bevir
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199606412
Pages: 132
Year: 2012-10-25
Generally referring to all forms of social coordination and patterns of rule, the term 'governance' is used in many different contexts. In this Very Short Introduction, Mark Bevir explores the main theories of governance and considers their impact on ideas of governance in the corporate, public, and global arenas.
Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction

Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard Bellamy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192802534
Pages: 133
Year: 2008-09-25
Interest in citizenship has never been higher. But what does it mean to be a citizen in a modern, complex community? Richard Bellamy approaches the subject of citizenship from a political perspective and, in clear and accessible language, addresses the complexities behind this highly topical issue.
American Political History

American Political History

Author: Donald T. Critchlow
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199340056
Pages: 150
Year: 2015
"American Political History : A Very Short Introduction captures the richness of American political history, focusing primarily on national politics. It explores the nature of the two-party system, key turning points in American political history, representative presidential and congressional elections, struggles to expand the electorate, and critical social protest and third-party movements"--Provided by publisher
Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction

Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard Toye
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191653721
Pages: 144
Year: 2013-03-28
Rhetoric is often seen as a synonym for shallow, deceptive language, and therefore as something negative. But if we view rhetoric in more neutral terms, as the 'art of persuasion', it is clear that we are all forced to engage with it at some level, if only because we are constantly exposed to the rhetoric of others. In this Very Short Introduction, Richard Toye explores the purpose of rhetoric. Rather than presenting a defence of it, he considers it as the foundation-stone of civil society, and an essential part of any democratic process. Using wide-ranging examples from Ancient Greece, medieval Islamic preaching, and modern cinema, Toye considers why we should all have an appreciation of the art of rhetoric. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Ideology

Ideology

Author: Michael Freeden
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019280281X
Pages: 142
Year: 2003-06-26
Ideology is one of the most controversial terms in the political vocabulary, exciting both revulsion and inspiration. This book examines the reasons for those views, and explains why ideologies deserve respect as a major form of political thinking. It investigates the centrality of ideology both as a political phenomenon and as an organizing framework of political thought and action. It explores the changing understandings of ideology as a concept, and the arguments of the main ideologies. By employing the latest insights from a range of disciplines, the reader is introduced to the vitality and force of a crucial resource at the disposal of societies, through which sense and purpose is assigned to the political world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction

Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jack A. Goldstone
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199858500
Pages: 148
Year: 2014-02
This volume places recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan to Tunisia and Egypt in historical context. It provides a history of revolutions and insurgencies, an introduction to the way social scientists think about the causes and outcomes of revolutions, and an explanation of their significance in historical and political change. Jack A. Goldstone begins with a brief history of revolutions and insurgencies, from the revolutions that brought democracy to Greek city-states and led to thefounding of Rome through the major peasant revolts of the Middle Ages in Europe and China, and the Independence revolts in the Americas. He also touches upon the insurgencies in Latin America (Zapatistas and FARC) and Asia (in Malaysia and the Philippines), whose failure is instructive in understanding why revolts succeed or fail. The book then discusses types of revolutions and their causes; the radical social revolutions in France, Russia, and China; the revolutions for independence in Indiaand Algeria; revolutions against dictators in Mexico, Cuba, and Iran; and the so-called color revolutions in Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Goldstone considers some of the key revolutionary leaders of history where they came from, what inspired them, and how they changed their societies. A diverse range of popular groups have carried revolutions: peasants, miners, urban craftsmen, professionals, students, and mothers, all treated here. A chapter on insurgency and counter-insurgencycovers Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Goldstone grapples with the outcomes of revolutions: whether they are associated with the rise of freedom and democracy, devastating ideological dictatorships, or something inconclusive. He examines the historical legacies of revolutions, in the areas of freedom, economic growth, women's rights, and minority rights. Revolutions have succeeded enough to feed dreams of freedom, but failed often enough to prompt caution.
Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction

Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Harvey C. Mansfield
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199746311
Pages: 136
Year: 2010-07-13
No one has ever described American democracy with more accurate insight or more profoundly than Alexis de Tocqueville. After meeting with Americans on extensive travels in the United States, and intense study of documents and authorities, he authored the landmark Democracy in America, publishing its two volumes in 1835 and 1840. Ever since, this book has been the best source for every serious attempt to understand America and democracy itself. Yet Tocqueville himself remains a mystery behind the elegance of his style. Now one of our leading authorities on Tocqueville explains him in this splendid new entry in Oxford's acclaimed Very Short Introduction series. Harvey Mansfield addresses his subject as a thinker, clearly and incisively exploring Tocqueville's writings--not only his masterpiece, but also his secret Recollections, intended for posterity alone, and his unfinished work on his native France, The Old Regime and the Revolution. Tocqueville was a liberal, Mansfield writes, but not of the usual sort. The many elements of his life found expression in his thought: his aristocratic ancestry, his ventures in politics, his voyages abroad, his hopes and fears for America, and his disappointment with France. All his writings show a passion for political liberty and insistence on human greatness. Perhaps most important, he saw liberty not in theories, but in the practice of self-government in America. Ever an opponent of abstraction, he offered an analysis that forces us to consider what we actually do in our politics--suggesting that theory itself may be an enemy of freedom. And that, Mansfield writes, makes him a vitally important thinker for today. Translator of an authoritative edition of Democracy in America, Harvey Mansfield here offers the fruit of decades of research and reflection in a clear, insightful, and marvelously compact introduction.
Politics: A Very Short Introduction

Politics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kenneth Minogue
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 0192853880
Pages: 115
Year: 2000-02-24
'This is a fascinating book which sketches, in a very short space, one view of the nature of politics the reader is challenged, provoked and stimulated by Minogue's trenchant views.' -Ian Davies, Talking Politics'a dazzling but unpretentious display of great scholarship and humane reflection.' -Neil O'Sullivan, University of Hull'Professor Minogue's slim volume is an admirably light and sensible guide to political practitioners and students who want to learn more about the theoretical and historical context of today's controversies.' -Sir Philip Goodhart'Kenneth Minogue is a very lively stylist who does not distort difficult ideas.' -Maurice Cranston'Minogue is an admirable choice for showing us the nuts and bolts of the subject.' -Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
The U. S. Constitution: a Very Short Introduction

The U. S. Constitution: a Very Short Introduction

Author: David J. Bodenhamer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195378326
Pages: 168
Year: 2018
"Though the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788, its impact on our lives is as recent as today's news. Claims and counterclaims about the constitutionality of governmental actions are a habit of American politics. This document, which its framers designed to limit power, often has made political conflict inevitable. It also has accommodated and legitimized the political and social changes of a vibrant, powerful democratic nation. A product of history's first modern revolution, the Constitution embraced a new formula for government: it restrained power on behalf of liberty, but it also granted power to promote and protect liberty. The U.S. Constitution: A Very Short Introduction explores the major themes that have shaped American constitutional history-- federalism, the balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. Informed by the latest scholarship, this book places constitutional history within the context of American political and social history. We do not operate today under the same Constitution created by our founding fathers or the Constitution as completed by the Bill of Rights in 1791 or even the one revised by the Reconstruction amendments. Nor are we the same nation. As our circumstances have changed, so has our Constitution.Today we face serious challenges to the nation's constitutional legacy. Endless wars, a sharply divided electorate and deadlocked government, economic inequality, immigration, cybersecurity and privacy, and foreign interference in the nation's democratic processes, among a host of other issues, have placed demands on government and on society that test our constitutional values. Understanding how the Constitution has evolved will help us adapt its principles to the challenges of our age"--