This book is intended to provide a succinct but comprehensive treatment of a range of thinkers, issues and debates that have been of central importance in the Western tradition of political thought. Many introductions to the history of political thought survey the ideas of an extensive number of ‘great thinkers’ who are taken to represent the high-points of a tradition jokingly referred to as extending ‘from Plato to Nato’. This approach provides a way of outlining the ideas of particular thinkers that is both chronologically coherent and allows for a consideration of the biographical and historical background in which their works were produced. At the same time, however, it makes it difficult to include considerations of a range of less commonly noted but historically significant political thinkers, and prohibits identification of thematic patterns in the history of political thought.
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