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Politics and Fate Hardcover – Dec 22 2000


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'In 120 taut, thought-provoking pages, [Gamble] has sought torescue politics from fatalism, to show that the iron cages in whichcontemporary elites have taken shelter are not iron after all, toconfute the pessimism of the times by posing a challenge to endismin all its forms. The argument ranges widely and draws on aformidable range of academic literatures. But the nub isdevastatingly simple. The endist project, Gamble argues, isfundamentally flawed. In different ways, endists all purport toshow that the space for politics has vanished, or has at leastsharply contracted. And that claim is itself political.' DavidMarquand, Times Literary Supplement

'This is a thoughtful book ... intellectually demanding withoutbeing technical. If as widely read as it deserves, Politics andFate could restore public respect for political thinking.'Bernard Crick, The Independent

"Gamble's prose is clear and supple, his targets well chosen,his arguments effective and well tructured and his optimismrealistic and sober" Nicholas Rengger, St Andrews University, UK.International Relations Theory

From the Back Cover

Politics was once regarded as an activity which could give humansocieties control over their fate. However, there is now a deeppessimism about the ability of human beings to control anythingvery much, least of all through politics. This new fatalism aboutthe human condition claims that we are living in the iron cageserected by vast impersonal forces arising from globalization andtechnology: a society that is both anti-political and unpolitical,a society without hope or the means either to imagine or promote analternative future. It reflects the disillusion of political hopesin liberal and socialist utopias in the twentieth century and awidespread disenchantment with the grand narratives of theEnlightenment about reason and progress, and with modernity itself.

The most characteristic expression of this disenchantment is theendless discourses on endism - the end of history, the end ofideology, the end of the nation-state, the end of authority, theend of government, the end of the public realm, the end of politicsitself - all have been proclaimed in recent years.

Andrew Gamble's new book argues against the fatalism implicit inso many of these discourses, as well as against the fatalism thathas always been present in many of the central discourses ofmodernity. It sets out a defence of politics and the political,explains why we cannot do without politics, and probes the complexrelationship between politics and fate, and the continuing andnecessary tension between them.

This book will be essential reading for students and scholars ofpolitics, public affairs and political thought.


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If politics were at an end, if this was our fate, what would this mean for us? Read the first page
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