., ."an important and valuable textbook for students undertaking modules in conceptual approaches to political theory." --Ian Fraser, Nottingham Trent University This text offers a sophisticated analysis of political concepts in the light of recent debates in political theory. All political argument employs political concepts. They provide the building blocks needed to construct a case for or against a given ideological position. Political concepts are required to adopt a position on such issues as wether or not development aid is too low, income tax too high, or how to cope with poverty and the distribution of wealth. To address these kinds of issues involves developing views on what individuals are entitled to, what they owe to others, the role of individual choice and responsibility in these areas. These matters depend on the understanding of concepts such as rights, equality and liberty and the ways they relate to each other. People of different political persuasions interpret these key concepts of politics in different ways. This book introduces students to some of the main interpretations, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses, including a broad range of the main concepts employed in contemporary debates on political theory. It tackles the principle concepts employed to justify any policy or institution and examines the main domestic purposes and functions of the state. It goes on to study the relationship between state and civil society and finally looks beyond the state to issues of global concern and inter-state relations.