This comprehensive overview of the Western tradition of political thought approaches concepts with the aim of helping readers develop their own political thinking and critical thinking skills. This text is uniquely organized around the theme of civil society — what is the nature of a civil society? why is it important? — that will engage students and help make the material relevant. Major thinkers discussed in the text are explored not only with the goal of understanding their views, but also with an interest in understanding the relationship of their ideas to the notion of a civil society. DeLue and Dale contend that a civil society is important for securing the way of life that most of us value and want to preserve, a way of life that allows people to live freely and place significance on their own lives.
New to the Fourth Edition
- Connects traditional political theory to contemporary challenges to civil society including new coverage of US electoral politics, the Black Lives Matter movement, Citizens United, and Robert Putnam’s view of the decline of social support systems.
- Updates the coverage of feminism and feminist thinkers, including coverage of gay marriage, in the context of civil society.
- Expands coverage of global civil society, especially in terms of contemporary challenges posed by ISIS, the failure of the Arab Spring, and ongoing humanitarian crises in Syria, Iran, and beyond.