An Introduction to Modern Political Theory by Norman P. Barry

By Norman P. Barry

Within the considerably revised 3rd variation of this widely-used textbook Norman Barry offers a accomplished advent to modern political concept. The publication introduces the most issues and ideas in political debate in addition to the information of up to date theorists together with Rawls, Hart, Dworkin, Nozick, and Hayek. This version beneficial properties significant extra fabric at the debate among liberals and communitarians and an summary of the most beneficial properties of feminist political notion. Reviewers' reviews on prior versions: '...well worthy reading...up-to-date and finished' - Michael Laver, British publication information '...a succinct creation now not in simple terms to such sleek masters as Hayek, but in addition paintings performed in different disciplines...which has implications for political concept. It merits a large viewers' - Gillian Peele, occasions academic complement

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Even the most determined liberal economists have some difficulty in explaining how public goods are generated from individual choice (see below, Chapter 3), or why people bother to vote and to follow voluntarily conventions and practices. Communal societies flourish without that formal rule-following which seems to be such a feature of Western orders. It is true that economic liberalism is particularly vulnerable to communitarianism precisely because its conception of the person is specifically rooted in utility-maximising terms, and it is also highly critical of any egalitarianism that might attenuate the efficiency of the market.

There are important differences between these which will emerge in detail in our consideration of the concept of law, but one or two elementary points can be made here. Moral and legal rules are devices for regulating personal conduct, whereas political rules govern the allocation of power and authority in a society. An example of a moral rule might be the rule that says one ought to look after one's aged parents; a legal rule one that makes driving on the left obligatory; and a political rule one that requires the Prime Minister to resign if he/she fails to secure a majority in the House of Commons.

If we want to understand the role of the price mechanism in the allocation of resources in a market economy, we have to use certain generalisations about consumer behaviour. Decreasing marginal utility theory tells us that an individual will consume units of a good until the marginal utility of the last unit of the good equals its cost, in terms of other goods she must forego in order to consume it. From this fundamental generalisation we can predict that if the price of a good falls the demand will go up.

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