In accordance with the historical focus of this book, the preceding chapters have not ventured beyond the middle decades of the twentieth century. To have done so would have launched us into a complex and rapidly expanding body of literature that could not be canvassed adequately within the space available. Much of this literature considers issues that are peculiar to the contemporary world and it does so from perspectives that differ radically from those which have played significant roles in the history of Western political thought. Given the considerations about the contextual specificity of political thinking that were raised in the introductory chapter these developments are not surprising. At the same time, however, as in earlier periods, it is possible to identify a degree of commonality between some of the ideas considered here and those that have appeared in a rich variety of forms over the course of Western history. This book will conclude by offering some brief sketches of the relationship between some of the concerns that appear in the writings of late twentieth-century and early twenty-first-century political theorists. A consideration of these concerns provides a way of indicating the degrees of continuity and discontinuity that are a feature of the history of Western political thought and the extent to which the refocusing of political theory involves a conscious engagement with the works of earlier political thinkers. The past may be a foreign country but it provides an ongoing source of interest and stimulation to those who are citizens of other ages.
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- Conclusion: Some Contemporary Themes
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