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Rethinking Political Thinkers

Edited by Manjeet Ramgotra and Simon Choat

30 March 2023

ISBN: 9780198847397

784 pages

In Stock

Price: £37.99

Comparing and contrasting dominant and marginal voices, this is the only text to explore key political concepts through a truly diverse range of political thinkers.


The first textbook to challenge and expand the canon of political thinkers, Rethinking Political Thinkers presents political thought in a new light, invites debate, and brings diverse perspectives to the fore, giving students the tools to think about political concepts, theories, and arguments critically and analytically.

  • Provides students with coverage of a range of perspectives, including previously marginalised and neglected thinkers alongside the predominantly white male thinkers of the traditional canon
  • Interprets thinkers within the contexts of patriarchy, white supremacy, and imperialism, giving special attention to the relations and structures of race, gender, and class which different theories have reflected, defended, or challenged
  • Introduces students to a wide range of political thinkers, placing them in their contexts, exploring tensions and exclusions in their work, and assessing different interpretations
  • Addresses key topics, theories, and concepts within political thought, including social contract theory, colonial domination, black consciousness, gender, and environmental thought

About the Author(s)

Edited by Manjeet Ramgotra, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, SOAS University of London, and Simon Choat, Associate Professor and Head of Department, Kingston University

Manjeet Ramgotra is a Senior Lecturer in Political Thought, Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS University of London. Manjeet is an Independent Scholar Fellow of the Independent Social Research Foundation, affiliated with the Department of Politics at QMUL. Her research chronicles a history of republicanism extending from classical European to twentieth-century anti-colonial political thought on which she has published several articles. She is a strong advocate of decolonising the curriculum, and has co-edited a book on Decolonising Curricula and Pedagogy in Higher Education (Routledge, 2021) as well as written blogposts and articles on this subject. Currently, she is working on a project on post-colonial republicanism in India. Manjeet was recently appointed to the Quality Assurance Agency Advisory Board to rewrite the Politics and IR benchmark statement, and is a Trustee on the Political Studies Association executive committee.

Simon Choat is Assosciate Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at Kingston University London. He is the author of Marx Through Post-Structuralism: Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze (Continuum, 2010) and Marx's 'Grundrisse: A Reader's Guide' (Bloomsbury, 2016). He has published articles on, amongst other topics, neoliberalism, contemporary anarchism, the philosophers Ernesto Laclau and Michael Sandel, and the theories of the 'new materialists' such as Bruno Latour. He has been teaching political theory for nearly 20 years. He has published research on decolonising the political theory curriculum and is currently collaborating on a comparative study of Politics and Economics curricula at UK universities. He is a member of the Political Economy Research Group at Kingston University and is co-convener of the Political Studies Association specialist group on Political Thought.

Table of Contents

    I. Boundaries of the Political
    1:Introduction, Simon Choat and Manjeet Ramgotra
    2:Plato, Socrates and Sojourner Truth, Patrizia Longo
    3:Aristotle and bell hooks, Manjeet Ramgotra
    4:Kautilya, Deepshikha Shahi
    II. Social Contract Theory and its Critics
    5:Thomas Hobbes, Signy Gutnick-Allen
    6:Baruch de Spinoza, Caroline Williams
    7:John Locke, Hagar Kotef
    8:Mary Astell, Allauren Forbes
    9:Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Peter Hallward
    10:Carole Pateman and Charles Mills, Terrell Carver
    III. Liberal Modernity and Colonial Domination
    11:Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu, Manjeet Ramgotra
    12:John Stuart Mill, Inder S. Marwah
    13:Karl Marx, Simon Choat
    14:Friedrich Nietzsche, Willow Verkerk
    15:Sayyid Qutb, Ayesha Omar
    16:Edward W. Said, Rahul Rao
    IV. Freedom and Revolution
    17:Catharine Macaulay and Edmund Burke, Alan Coffee
    18:C. L. R. James, Robbie Shilliam
    19:Hannah Arendt, Kei Hiruta
    20:Zhang Taiyan, Viren Murthy
    V. Inclusion and Equality
    21:Mary Wollstonecraft, Ashley Dodsworth
    22:Iris Marion Young, Neus Torbisco-Casals
    23:Bhikhu Parekh, Varun Uberoi
    24:Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Nikita Dhawan
    VI. Violence, Power, and Resistance
    25:Niccolo Machiavelli, Yves Winter
    26:Emma Goldman, Ruth Kinna
    27:Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, James Casas Klausen
    28:Frantz Fanon, Keally McBride
    VII. The Liberal Self and Black Consciousness
    29:Immanuel Kant, Stella Sandford
    30:Frederick Douglass, Kiara Gilbert and Karen Salt
    31:W. E. B. Dubois, Elvira Basevich
    32:John Rawls, Maeve McKeown
    VIII. Sex and Sexuality
    33:Michel Foucault, Paul Patton
    34:Shulamith Firestone, Victoria Margree
    35:Angela Davis, Manjeet Ramgotra
    36:Judith Butler, Clare Woodford
    IX. The Environment, Human, and Non-Human
    37:Dipesh Chakrabarty, Eva-Maria Nag
    38:Donna Haraway, Claire Colebrook
    39:Indigenous ecologies, Esme G. Murdock


"This well-conceived and well-executed book offers accessible and thoughtful chapters on theorists (including Gandhi, C.L.R. James, DuBois and Fanon) and themes (including black consciousness and colonial domination) that do not usually find a place in political theory textbooks, and yet have been central to political thinking in modern times. It will be welcomed by teachers and students who want to avoid the seemingly incorrigible Eurocentrism of their discipline." - Sanjay Seth, Professor and Director of the Centre for Postcolonial Theory, Goldsmiths, and author of Beyond Reason: Postcolonial Theory and the Social Sciences (OUP 2020).

"The book provides a refreshing overview of key political thinkers, bringing to the fore ideas and authors which have long been unjustly neglected in the discipline and thus offering a richer and more inclusive introduction to the defining questions and debates in political theory." - Dr Davide Schmid, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

"Rethinking Political Thinkers answers a long-felt need of students and faculty alike. Through obviously careful planning, Ramgotra and Choat have pulled together a superb resource to restructure political theory curricula so as to bring critical engagement with questions of race, gender, sexuality, and colonialism into university coursespositioning such questions as integral rather than supplemental to understanding the history, present, and future of political theory. Rethinking political Thinkers will very quickly become an essential text for undergraduate courses." - Dr Samantha Frost, Professor, University of Illinois, USA

"This is the dream textbook we have been looking for. It offers a way to rethink the teaching of political theory that does not abandon the canon, but instead expands and interrogates it, situating the thinkers within contemporary concerns." - Dr David Moon, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Bath, UK

"An excellent volume which can be used to widen the curriculum of political theory to include more diverse authors and cover important subjects such as colonialism, imperialism, slavery, non-Western philosophy, feminism and poststructuralism critiques. Accessible for students, and a clear resource for lecturers keen to vary their teaching, it is a welcome addition to the field." - Dr Charles Devellennes, Senior Lecturer in Political and Social Thought, University of Kent, UK

"This is a ground-breaking introduction to political thought. It offers an indispensable tool for students and teachers and shows how political theory can be taught in a way that respects diversity and shows the radical potential of political thought." - Dr Alasia Nuti, Senior Lecturer, University of York, UK

"This timely volume highlights positive possibilities for the future of political theory and philosophy. By refocusing our attentions on many of those intellectual voices who have usually held them the least, the volume's chapters refuse-in theme and method- to narrowly conform to the accepted modes of the discipline. Indeed, the volume excels in making clear that, should it wish to, political theory and philosophy are eminently capable of allowing for innovations in thought and method drawn from as full an epistemic range as the historical and contemporary world offers. As the editors emphasise, the benefit will be to the discipline and, also, to the intellectual understandings of our societies. Certainly, this volume will inspire new and diverse entrants into political thought- who will, as a result, be unafraid to break and cultivate ever more original ground." - Dr Eniola Anuoluwapo Soyemi, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, UK

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

Rethinking Political Thinkers is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats, and is supported by online resources.
The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

The online resources include:
For students:
- Links to digital sources
- Thinker biographies

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