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Politics: Ideas in Profile

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In the first title of an exciting new series one of the world's leading political scientists asks the big questions about politics: what is it, why we do we need it and where, in these turbulent times, is it heading? From the gap between rich and poor to the impact of social media, via Machiavelli, Hobbes and Weber, Runciman's comprehensive short introduction is invaluable In the first title of an exciting new series one of the world's leading political scientists asks the big questions about politics: what is it, why we do we need it and where, in these turbulent times, is it heading? From the gap between rich and poor to the impact of social media, via Machiavelli, Hobbes and Weber, Runciman's comprehensive short introduction is invaluable to those studying politics or those who want to know how life in Denmark became more comfortable than in Syria. Fusing animation and images from the award winning animators behind RSA Animates, beautifully adapted to both print and digital formats, the Ideas in Profile series boldly reinvents what introductions can and should be in the twenty-first century. Concise, clear, relevant, entertaining, original and global in scope, Politics makes essential reading - and viewing for students and general readers.


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In the first title of an exciting new series one of the world's leading political scientists asks the big questions about politics: what is it, why we do we need it and where, in these turbulent times, is it heading? From the gap between rich and poor to the impact of social media, via Machiavelli, Hobbes and Weber, Runciman's comprehensive short introduction is invaluable In the first title of an exciting new series one of the world's leading political scientists asks the big questions about politics: what is it, why we do we need it and where, in these turbulent times, is it heading? From the gap between rich and poor to the impact of social media, via Machiavelli, Hobbes and Weber, Runciman's comprehensive short introduction is invaluable to those studying politics or those who want to know how life in Denmark became more comfortable than in Syria. Fusing animation and images from the award winning animators behind RSA Animates, beautifully adapted to both print and digital formats, the Ideas in Profile series boldly reinvents what introductions can and should be in the twenty-first century. Concise, clear, relevant, entertaining, original and global in scope, Politics makes essential reading - and viewing for students and general readers.

30 review for Politics: Ideas in Profile

  1. 4 out of 5

    huzeyfe

    Definitely worth reading. Great overview about how politics work. Need to write a detailed review when I have enough time!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Burak Göral

    Dünyanın en mutlu ülkesi araştırmalarında birinci sırada yıllardır aynı ülke çıkmaktadır: Danimarka. Ve şu sıralar dünyanın en mutsuz ülkelerinden biri de kuşkusuz Suriye’dir. Peki yıllarca monotonluğundan şikayetçi olunan Danimarka’nın yine de insanın ömrünü uzatan dinginliği, refah düzeyi bu kadar çekici bir hal almışken, bir zamanlar Ortadoğu’nun da nispeten refah ülkelerinden biri olan Suriye nasıl bu kadar kaotik bir ülke konumuna gelebildi? Bu sorunun çok net bir cevabı var: Politika yüzün Dünyanın en mutlu ülkesi araştırmalarında birinci sırada yıllardır aynı ülke çıkmaktadır: Danimarka. Ve şu sıralar dünyanın en mutsuz ülkelerinden biri de kuşkusuz Suriye’dir. Peki yıllarca monotonluğundan şikayetçi olunan Danimarka’nın yine de insanın ömrünü uzatan dinginliği, refah düzeyi bu kadar çekici bir hal almışken, bir zamanlar Ortadoğu’nun da nispeten refah ülkelerinden biri olan Suriye nasıl bu kadar kaotik bir ülke konumuna gelebildi? Bu sorunun çok net bir cevabı var: Politika yüzünden. Ünlü İngiliz siyaset bilimcisi David Runciman bu sorudan yola çıkarak bize “Politika” denilen kirli oyunu her yönüyle tane tane anlatıyor. Politika nedir ve insanoğlu neden ‘politika’ya ihtiyaç duyar? Demokrasi bu kavramın neresindedir? “Devlet” kavramı neden ortaya çıkmıştır? Bir ‘devlet’in olması şart mıdır? Diktatörlükler nasıl doğar? Politikanın yegane amacı insanların savaşmaktan kaçınmasını sağlamaksa, bunca savaş neden hâlâ var? Gelişen teknoloji politikayı nasıl etkiler? En kötü politika bile kaostan daha mı iyidir gerçekten? Bütün bu cazip soruların çok net cevapları var aslında ve Runciman bütün cevaplara sahip. Okudukça zaten günümüzde yaşadığımız her şeyi birbirine ekliyorsunuz, zihniniz açılıyor giderek. Esprili grafikler düşüncelerinize ve Runciman’ın dünyanın her yerinden derlediği örneklerle ve gerçek alıntılarla yüklediği keyifli metnine eşlik ediyor üstelik.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nouf

    I bought this book from my last trip to Germany this summer. I liked the author's way of laying down his argument about the limits of politics when it comes to violence, technology and justice (which are the three chapters of the book) though politics on all these three issues still matters. One of the questions that the author raised is: If politics what makes the difference, why do we tolerate such vast discrepancies between the world's most successful states and its least successful ones? The I bought this book from my last trip to Germany this summer. I liked the author's way of laying down his argument about the limits of politics when it comes to violence, technology and justice (which are the three chapters of the book) though politics on all these three issues still matters. One of the questions that the author raised is: If politics what makes the difference, why do we tolerate such vast discrepancies between the world's most successful states and its least successful ones? The author way of referring to important arguments about political philosophers like Hobbes,and political scientists' theories like Francis Fukuyama in a simple way throughout his discussion to prove his argument was great. As I've read some books about political philosophies or theories but it were not helping much because it is not linked to both an argument or reality. The book is also relates to the field of public policy which is why I enjoyed it! If you are looking for something that talk about "Politics" in terms of what kind of difference democratic and non-democratic states are doing to the issue of violence, technology and justice in countries of such state system of governments.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kursat Kaya

    Book is generally good. However, technology - politics part is somewhat outdated.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Francisco Luis Benítez

    Libro didáctico muy interesante. Un intento de explicar para qué sirve la política, y lo más importante, para qué sirven los políticos y por qué son necesarios. A pesar de la desafección ciudadana y del malestar hacia la política, esta es más necesaria que nunca. Esto es lo que explica el profesor Runciman a lo largo de un libro ameno, que no desdeña pinceladas filosóficas y principios politológicos para hacerlos llegar a todos los públicos. Recomiendo su lectura en caso de grave desafección por Libro didáctico muy interesante. Un intento de explicar para qué sirve la política, y lo más importante, para qué sirven los políticos y por qué son necesarios. A pesar de la desafección ciudadana y del malestar hacia la política, esta es más necesaria que nunca. Esto es lo que explica el profesor Runciman a lo largo de un libro ameno, que no desdeña pinceladas filosóficas y principios politológicos para hacerlos llegar a todos los públicos. Recomiendo su lectura en caso de grave desafección por el sistema. No ilumina, pero te recuerda que hay alternativas peores y que entre todos hemos de buscar soluciones ante los altos picos de incertidumbre social, tecnológica y económica en los que nos movemos. Reivindicar la política como acción social y ciudadana. ¿Te atreverías a ser polí[email protected] tras esta lectura?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sorrento

    I picked up this book from my local library after reading a biography on Tony Blair. Politics is a short but dense book by the academic David Runciman. I was initially surprised that the opening chapter was entitled Violence but found this entirely appropriate as Runciman developed his argument why the control of violence is at the heart of politics, introducing us to the political philosophers such as Hobbes, Machiavelli & Max Weber. How this works in the modern world is starkly illuminated by I picked up this book from my local library after reading a biography on Tony Blair. Politics is a short but dense book by the academic David Runciman. I was initially surprised that the opening chapter was entitled Violence but found this entirely appropriate as Runciman developed his argument why the control of violence is at the heart of politics, introducing us to the political philosophers such as Hobbes, Machiavelli & Max Weber. How this works in the modern world is starkly illuminated by comparing modern day Denmark with Syria. The book also has insightful chapters on Technology & Justice which I found very helpful in thinking about the relevance of politics in today's interconnected & unequal world. After reading the book I found myself in agreement with David Runciman that Politics still matters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    A decent overview of the importance of politics and why we need to pay attention to our governments. That being said, I wish there had been more analysis of various types of governments as well as different political theories.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Calum Fisher

    Runciman is one of the best writers on politics alive, and this is a splendid overview of an impressive amount of territory. The first chapter on Violence is exceptional, and appropriately addresses the fundamental issue from which Politics itself arises - the fact of violence, and of attempts to understand it, control it, and indeed put it to socially-productive use. The other chapters on Justice and (especially) Technology felt slightly less at the core of matters but still are packed with ins Runciman is one of the best writers on politics alive, and this is a splendid overview of an impressive amount of territory. The first chapter on Violence is exceptional, and appropriately addresses the fundamental issue from which Politics itself arises - the fact of violence, and of attempts to understand it, control it, and indeed put it to socially-productive use. The other chapters on Justice and (especially) Technology felt slightly less at the core of matters but still are packed with insights. Throughout he displays his persistent bias for thinking seriously about what politicians as people do, what it is to be a human being with political power over other human beings - an important theme much neglected these days by the structuralism of so much political "science," which has very little actual interest in politicians.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Warren

    this book is written from a realist perspective. Although it's a school of thought that I don't normally agree with, I did find that the author had some interesting insights about the topic of politics. I did enjoy the three themes he chose and I also enjoyed the way he broke these themes down own. Rather than trying to give readers a total overview of the field of politics, I enjoyed the more pared back approach, for a change. this book is written from a realist perspective. Although it's a school of thought that I don't normally agree with, I did find that the author had some interesting insights about the topic of politics. I did enjoy the three themes he chose and I also enjoyed the way he broke these themes down own. Rather than trying to give readers a total overview of the field of politics, I enjoyed the more pared back approach, for a change.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angelin

    The view of the author appears to be too narrow and concentrated on certain countries, and doesn't provide the overview that the synopsis promised. At the end of the book I feel like I just heard a person's view on politics, using specific examples. Probably not a book for someone trying to understand politics from a historical point of view. The view of the author appears to be too narrow and concentrated on certain countries, and doesn't provide the overview that the synopsis promised. At the end of the book I feel like I just heard a person's view on politics, using specific examples. Probably not a book for someone trying to understand politics from a historical point of view.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Greg Talbot

    “And because the condition of man . . . is a condition of war of every one against every one, The first branch of which rule containeth the first and fundamental law of nature, which is: to seek peace and follow it. The second, the sum of the right of nature, which is: by all means we can to defend ourselves.” ― Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan “We do not persist because we have hope, we persist so we can have hope." - Hong Kong Protest 2020 slogan It begins with Hobbes. David Runciman's brilliant podcast “And because the condition of man . . . is a condition of war of every one against every one, The first branch of which rule containeth the first and fundamental law of nature, which is: to seek peace and follow it. The second, the sum of the right of nature, which is: by all means we can to defend ourselves.” ― Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan “We do not persist because we have hope, we persist so we can have hope." - Hong Kong Protest 2020 slogan It begins with Hobbes. David Runciman's brilliant podcast "Talking Politics: History of Ideas", navigates the major political ideas that are present in our understanding of the world today. Hobbes is where it starts, because Hobbes ends the tradition of rule by kings due to providence or any external force. It is the extrapolation of a theory of the state of nature, the need for a sovereign and how we can move toward peace by releasing our power to this sovereign to command and commit violence. Runicman finds voice in other thinkers (Marx, Arendt, Gandhi, MacKinnon, Wollstonecraft) and their argues to Hobbes. Ideas around class struggle, feminist theory, free markets and emancipation from tyranny are investigated. Its a brilliant series, so well curated and fascinating, and moves to the backbone of the real political clashes of power struggle. Politics is a wonderful additive to the podcasts. He divides the book into three sections (violence, technology and morality), all are results of the clashes between us to meet our desires and needs. Some of his ideas of Hobbes are expanded here, and the slow roll from monarchy to our modern inter-connected market-driven democracies. And it ends to the our current existential crisis, the environmental crisis of climate change driven by carbon emissions and human activity. Its a wonderful book. Lighter and more playful than a textbook, but I found it to be illuminating on the subject of power and the ever-present struggle to weld it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Istvan Zoltan

    Runciman's book is a very short and easy to read introduction to politics. It focuses on central problems of politics - how to avoid violence, how to coordinate resource distribution and how to share power. It does make reference to some classical ideas and views, but does not go into too much detail about them. If someone wishes to follow up, at the end of the book there are good suggestions for further readings. I enjoyed Runciman's style. He usually introduces what would be a plausible sounding Runciman's book is a very short and easy to read introduction to politics. It focuses on central problems of politics - how to avoid violence, how to coordinate resource distribution and how to share power. It does make reference to some classical ideas and views, but does not go into too much detail about them. If someone wishes to follow up, at the end of the book there are good suggestions for further readings. I enjoyed Runciman's style. He usually introduces what would be a plausible sounding layman's view about the topic and then highlights all the problems with that position. Then, by offering solutions to the problem he unfolds the different alternative options that people working on politics came up with. The book is fairly balanced, but leans slightly towards realism as I detected (and detected happily). I would recommend this for people with little or no knowledge but some interest in politics, and for younger readers in their teens who are just starting to understand how the world works. Can work well for academics too who are ignorant of politics (I gave it to such a friend and he enjoyed it).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Luís Gouveia

    Um livro de 2014 que tem uma leitura agradavel de um tema be conhecido: o que é a política e qual a sua importância para a nossa sociedade. Inteligente e bem conseguido, apresenta a discussão centrada nos Estados nação e na forma como a política é central para assegurar o controlo da violência, de se constituir como uma melhor alternativa à influência da tecnologia e qual o seu papel para com a justiça (em especial, a associada com as desigualdades). Interessante, a sucessiva intrdução da discussã Um livro de 2014 que tem uma leitura agradavel de um tema be conhecido: o que é a política e qual a sua importância para a nossa sociedade. Inteligente e bem conseguido, apresenta a discussão centrada nos Estados nação e na forma como a política é central para assegurar o controlo da violência, de se constituir como uma melhor alternativa à influência da tecnologia e qual o seu papel para com a justiça (em especial, a associada com as desigualdades). Interessante, a sucessiva intrdução da discussão da utilidade da política através da contribuição histórica de diferentes autores e da forma como de um ponto de vista muito prático, um estado beneficia de assumir a política como o meio de se organizar socialmente. Interessante também a discussão das democracias e do papel dos regimes democráticos no mundo, da globalização e da desigualdade, da boa e da má política e da forma como lidar com as alterações climáticas e com a desigualdade vai/deverá constituir um desafio a ser assumido. Fácil de ler, claro e útil para quem quiser aprofundar o tema ou simplesmente acreditar que a decisão politica é ainda a melhor forma de lidar com a violência e com o bem comum.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gabe

    I wanted something to read after finishing the author’s history of ideas podcast series. Whilst some of the book goes over the same ground as the series (Hobbes is the starting point here too) and some of the material is quite basic (to be expected from this kind of book) I still enjoyed spending more time with Runciman. What I liked in the podcast and the book is his ability to pare complex topics down into really well formulated questions and in answering them to tell an engaging story. I thin I wanted something to read after finishing the author’s history of ideas podcast series. Whilst some of the book goes over the same ground as the series (Hobbes is the starting point here too) and some of the material is quite basic (to be expected from this kind of book) I still enjoyed spending more time with Runciman. What I liked in the podcast and the book is his ability to pare complex topics down into really well formulated questions and in answering them to tell an engaging story. I think his sci fi interests help him here - he’s very good at creating ‘what if?’ scenarios that make our present political situation seem arbitrary and make real the possibility of change in the near future. I’ve often felt that there was a gap in my education between secondary school and university, which could have been filled by a broad-ranging history of ideas course. I wish I’d read a book like this one when doing my a levels...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fatih Ç.

    Domingo’nun Aklayakın serisinin ilki. Dünya halklarının hem refah ve mutluluğunu hem de fakirlik, iç savaşlar, açlık ve göçleriyle sonuçlanan kötü yaşamlarının ortak sebebinin Politika olduğunu söylüyor. Fark sadece onu nasıl anladığımız ve ne amaçla nasıl kullandığımızda. Özellikle şiddetin, halkların ve hatta paranın yönetilmesindeki önemli rolü ile ilgili olan kısmı son derece ilgi çekici. Dünya nasıl ve neden bu kale geldi ve nereye gidecek? Şiddet nasıl evrilecek? Teknoloji mi politikaya pol Domingo’nun Aklayakın serisinin ilki. Dünya halklarının hem refah ve mutluluğunu hem de fakirlik, iç savaşlar, açlık ve göçleriyle sonuçlanan kötü yaşamlarının ortak sebebinin Politika olduğunu söylüyor. Fark sadece onu nasıl anladığımız ve ne amaçla nasıl kullandığımızda. Özellikle şiddetin, halkların ve hatta paranın yönetilmesindeki önemli rolü ile ilgili olan kısmı son derece ilgi çekici. Dünya nasıl ve neden bu kale geldi ve nereye gidecek? Şiddet nasıl evrilecek? Teknoloji mi politikaya politika mı teknolojiye hükmedecek? Bunların ve bunlar gibi pek çok keskin sorunun muğlak cevapları bu kitabın içinde. https://kitaplarveseyler.blogspot.com...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gürkan

    David Runciman, Politika kitabında Siyaset Felsefesinin bütün enstrümanlarını kullanarak bir arketip çiziyor. Bu arketipi çizerken Hobbes, Constant, Machiavelli gibi isimlerin düşünceleriyle kendi engin bilgisi ona fener oluyor. Kitabın tasarımına hayran kalmamak elde değil. Kitabın dili sade ve anlaşılır. Çevirmen de bu dili korumayı başarmış. Ama dil sade olmakla beraber anlatılanlar o kadar yüzeysel ki kıyısından da olsa Siyaset Felsefesi bilenler için çoğunlukla tekrar niteliği taşımaktan il David Runciman, Politika kitabında Siyaset Felsefesinin bütün enstrümanlarını kullanarak bir arketip çiziyor. Bu arketipi çizerken Hobbes, Constant, Machiavelli gibi isimlerin düşünceleriyle kendi engin bilgisi ona fener oluyor. Kitabın tasarımına hayran kalmamak elde değil. Kitabın dili sade ve anlaşılır. Çevirmen de bu dili korumayı başarmış. Ama dil sade olmakla beraber anlatılanlar o kadar yüzeysel ki kıyısından da olsa Siyaset Felsefesi bilenler için çoğunlukla tekrar niteliği taşımaktan ileri gidemiyor. Büyük hayal kırıklığı. Bunlarla beraber, Siyaset Felsefesine giriş yapmak için ideal bir eser.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sally Wang

    coming into this book, i didn't really know what to expect. to be honest, i thought this would just be a simple, overview of political processes and concepts - but boy was i positively mistaken. although the book is laid out in simple lingo - which i very much appreciate, and made me enjoy it even more - the ideas it introduced are far-reaching and very complex, pointing out many interesting areas that i have never previously contemplated/come across for further research/reading. i am so glad i coming into this book, i didn't really know what to expect. to be honest, i thought this would just be a simple, overview of political processes and concepts - but boy was i positively mistaken. although the book is laid out in simple lingo - which i very much appreciate, and made me enjoy it even more - the ideas it introduced are far-reaching and very complex, pointing out many interesting areas that i have never previously contemplated/come across for further research/reading. i am so glad i read this - 5 stars! +1 for runciman!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I really enjoyed this short, succinct book on politics and why it is a necessary evil and why politics is best left to politicians and not technocrats. In highlighting the difference between Denmark and Syria, the author not only demonstrates the political gulf between the two countries - something obvious to us all - but also how fiendishly difficult it is to make a country like Syria into something resembling Denmark. Lots of food for thought here. As an aside, I found the illustrations intens I really enjoyed this short, succinct book on politics and why it is a necessary evil and why politics is best left to politicians and not technocrats. In highlighting the difference between Denmark and Syria, the author not only demonstrates the political gulf between the two countries - something obvious to us all - but also how fiendishly difficult it is to make a country like Syria into something resembling Denmark. Lots of food for thought here. As an aside, I found the illustrations intensely irritating and distracting as well as totally unnecessary. They really detract from the text.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Richard Foster

    Quite an interesting little opinion piece. I didn't find the author's writing style particularly engaging but there was a lot of good information here. It's not much of a 'beginner's guide' though, which I think has caught a few people out. Quite an interesting little opinion piece. I didn't find the author's writing style particularly engaging but there was a lot of good information here. It's not much of a 'beginner's guide' though, which I think has caught a few people out.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Wrench

    Enthralling read about the role and the future of politics. Very briefly summarises what politics is all about, but mainly explains its purposes and effects, namely with regards to Violence, Technology, and Justice. Logical and clearly written

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joel Hassan

    Found this an accessible and engaging read for someone with little prior knowledge of politics/political science.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mz

    ένα κατατοπιστικό εγχειρίδιο των σύγχρονων πολιτικών προβλημάτων, με πολύ χαλαρή δομή

  23. 5 out of 5

    Necdet Yucel

    Domingo yayınlarının AklaYakın isimli 3 kitaplık serisinin ilki. Bu kavramları yeni okuyacaklar için güzel bir kitap. Küçük hacimli olduğu gibi içi de çizimlerle dolu, okuması keyifli bir kitap

  24. 5 out of 5

    Estrella Piedra

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq9e5Uwl8... https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq9e5Uwl8...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Eduardo Ocampo

    Un diagnósito de nuestro presente breve, ameno, objetivo y que sus reflexiones ayudan a cuestionar nuestro presente.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charles Bonfils-Duclos

    All my undergraduate lectures in one book! (Vol. 2).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Ryall

    Really great read for an intro to politics and its importance. Scarily accurate considering it was written in 2015 but accurately called the lashback for Trump's election and Brexit. Really great read for an intro to politics and its importance. Scarily accurate considering it was written in 2015 but accurately called the lashback for Trump's election and Brexit.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michalis Christou

    Το καταλληλότερο βιβλίο για αρχάριους σε θέματα πολιτικής. Όντας αρχάριος στον κόσμο των βιβλίων και της πολιτικής, το βρήκα εύκολο στο διάβασμα και αρκετά κατατοπιστικό.

  29. 5 out of 5

    RJ Wolfe

    I loved this book the theories set out not only coincide with theory application of how politics can change the outcome of many countries in turmoil but this books provides practical application.

  30. 5 out of 5

    M. C.

    Politikanın önemi, sınırları ve imkanları sade bir dille ve anlaşılır şekilde, örneklerle anlatılıyor.

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