Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Myers, Ella. Review of Boudewijn de Bruin, et al., eds. NEW WAVES IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. NDPR (August 2009).

de Bruin, Boudewijn, and Christopher F. Zurn, eds. New Waves in Political Philosophy. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Reviewing an edited volume is arguably more challenging than reviewing the work of a single author. That task becomes all the more daunting when the volume in question lacks any organizing theme. In the case of New Waves in Political Philosophy, there are no central questions, concepts, thinkers, or texts linking the contributions to one another. The editors, to their credit, announce this fact in the introduction, explaining that the text offers a "snapshot" of contemporary political philosophy and is intended to reflect the "heterogeneity" of recent research. According to De Bruin and Zurn, the collection of 11 essays demonstrates the "vibrancy" of the field by treating a vast array of topics, some "perennial", some resurgent, and others "more recently put on the agenda". (Some of the categorizations here are truly bizarre. "Citizenship" is a new issue in political philosophy? Tell that to Aristotle.) The breadth of the work included in the volume ensures that any attempt to create a thread connecting the pieces to one another is bound to feel forced. The most fruitful approach to take to a book of this kind is to treat each contribution individually. Due to space constraints, however, I will simply list eight of the pieces, to give potential readers some hint of the offerings, before reflecting on three particularly interesting and thought-provoking contributions. . . . Read the rest here:

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