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Democracy and Dictatorship The Nature and Limits of State Power by Norberto Bobbio

Democracy and Dictatorship The Nature and Limits of State Power


Democracy and Dictatorship The Nature and Limits of State Power by Norberto Bobbio

In this important volume Norberto Bobbio examines some of the central themes of political theory and presents a systematic exposition of his views. With great astuteness and profound scholarship, Bobbio unfolds the elements for a general theory of politics. Bobbio's wide-ranging argument is focused on four themes: the distinction between the public and the private; the concept of civil society; differing conceptions of the state and differing ways of understanding the legitimacy of state power; and the relation between democracy and dictatorship. Bobbio's discussion draws on a wealth of theoretical and historical material, from Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes and Locke to Marx, Weber, Habermas and Foucault. By analysing the development of different languages of politics in relation to changing social and historical contexts, Bobbio deepens our understanding of the concepts we use to describe and evaluate modern political systems.


In the current landscape there is one figure of outstanding moral and political significance, the Italian philosopher Norberto Bobbio. New Left Review This book constitutes a marvellous Introduction to the study of politics. A book which does not leave the reader as it found him -- it teaches him how to think. La Stampa [Bobbio shows] clarity and skill in making distinctions ... and shining precision in defining terms and ideas. Corsera

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

17th March 1997


Norberto Bobbio

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Polity Press


216 pages


Political science & theory



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