Western Political Theory in the Face of the Future

John Dunn’s Western Political Theory in the Face of the Future demonstrates that the major traditions of thought from which the political values of the modern West have emerged are all, in the light of recent world history, in crucial respects incoherent or flawed. This second edition underlines the drastic changes in the challenges which face the world, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse and the end of the Cold War, stressing the ever tighter linking of the global economy with the ecology in which we live, and the problems which this poses for the survival of civilisation.

• A revised and up-dated second edition of John Dunn’s acclaimed enquiry into the flaws of Western political theory • The new conclusion addresses the political challenges posted by economic and environmental crisis • Accessibly written for the general reader: one reviewer commented that ‘Dunn writes like Mozart’


1. Democratic theory; 2. Liberalism; 3. Nationalism; 4. Revolution? 5. Conclusion (1992).


From reviews of the first edition: ‘He has begun to show cogently in a quite new way why conventional political theory is now a subject of great political relevance. He does so in a short book of immense learning, carefully organised around a central argument.’ Alisdair MacIntyre,The London Review of Books

‘Filled with thought-provoking challenges to many accepted views … Anyone who begrudges the two or three hours it takes to read it simply can’t be interested in the political values by which we supposedly live.’ Alan Ryan, The Listener

‘… a massively erudite critical conspectus of the state of political thought at the present time. This is a rich and subtle book, powerfully argued and replete with brilliant offhand remarks’. Political Studies

‘Dunn writes like Mozart.’ Tribune