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Political Judgement
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Book description

From Plato to Max Weber, the attempt to understand political judgement took the form of a struggle to define the relationship between politics and morals. This book by leading international scholars in the fields of history, philosophy and politics restores the subject to a place at the very centre of political theory and practice. Whilst it provides a range of perspectives on the theme of practical reason, it also explores a series of related problems in philosophy and political thought, raising fundamental questions about democracy, trust, the nature of statesmanship, and the relations between historical and political judgement. In the process, the volume reconsiders some classic debates in political theory – about equality, authority, responsibility and ideology – and offers new and original treatments of key figures in the history of political thought, including Thucydides, Montaigne, Locke, Smith, Burke and Marx.


'This wide array of distinguished contributions reflects the ample scope of John Dunn's work. It also illustrates one of the themes that Dunn has insistently pressed: the understanding of politics cannot and should not be unified. This is a book for all those interested in the intelligence of politics beyond doctrinal boundaries.'

Bernard Manin - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), and New York University

'This collection of outstanding essays on political judgment is a fitting tribute to John Dunn. One of the most brilliant political thinkers of our time, Dunn has illuminated political judgment better than anyone currently writing about the subject. His books also embody a capacity for political judgment that is as arresting and penetrating as it is unpredictable. In this volume, some of the world’s leading philosophers and political scientists respond to Dunn’s ideas about political judgment – revealing both the remarkable extent of his influence and the vibrant urgency of the political conversations that have been inspired by his work.'

Ian Shapiro - Sterling Professor of Political Science, Yale University

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