A World History of Political Thought
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A World History of Political Thought

J. Babb

A World History of Political Thought is an outstanding and innovative work with profound significance for the study of the history of political thought, providing a wide-ranging, detailed and global overview of political thought from 600 BC to the 21st century. Treating both western and non-western systems of political thought as equal and placing them as they should be; side by side.
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Chapter 4: Political thought of the first empires (250 bc–200 AD)

J. Babb


There are three major empires that appear at a very similar time in world history: Mauryan dynasty, Han dynasty and Roman Empire. A focus on both strict law and amoral approaches to rule are characteristic of thinkers of the period, such as Kautilya and Han Fei Tzu. However, the mainstream political philosophies develop from a synthesis of existing forms of more ethically oriented political thought that is stretched to the limit in far-flung empires as shown by the ideas and influence of Ashoka, Dong Zhongshu and Cicero The weaknesses of these philosophies demonstrate the need for more sophisticated metaphysics and deeper belief systems.

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