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International Political Theory

The Politics and Business of Self-Interest from Tocqueville to Trump

Authors: Lebow, Richard Ned

  • Explores underlying shifts in values and principles of justice to help account for political preferences
  • Uses Tocqueville's notion of 'self-interest well-understood' to consider the political scene in the US
  • Brings together empirical analysis of presidential speeches, sitcoms, and popular music with theoretical considerations of individualism 
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eBook $39.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-68569-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-68568-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Self-interest is an important human motive and this book explores its evolution in the United States and its consequences for politics, business, and personal relationships. In the postwar era American understandings of self-interest have moved away from Alexis de Tocqueville’s concept of “self-interest well-understood” – in which people recognize that their interests are served by the success of the community of which they are part – towards “individualism” – by which he meant narrow framing that often leads people to pursue their interests at the expense of the community. The book documents this evolution through qualitative and quantitative content analysis of presidential speeches, television sitcoms and popular music, before exploring its negative consequences for democracy. 

About the authors

Richard Ned Lebow is Professor at King’s College London, UK, and Bye-Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, UK. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and author of 35 books and almost 300 peer reviewed articles and book chapters in a career spanning six decades.

Reviews

“Richard Ned Lebow provides an insightful reading of the way the rhetoric of self-interest has shifted across recent American history. In a wide ranging critical analysis, Lebow examines political and popular discourses to pursue the negative impact of unrestrained self-interest. This volume will be essential reading for any citizen concerned with the trajectory of American politics and culture.” (Professor Kendall Phillips, Syracuse University, USA)

“Richard Ned Lebow provides an impressive analysis providing insight into the current state of political fragmentation and social polarization. He masterfully charts the transformation of America’s concept of self-interest based on the success of members of the community to individualism where all interests are self-interests without regard for others.  The age of psychological egoism where all interest is self-interest presents a clear danger to democracy.” (Professor Robert E. Denton, Virginia Tech, USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Lebow, Richard Ned

    Pages 1-25

  • Self-Interest

    Lebow, Richard Ned

    Pages 27-43

  • Presidential Speeches

    Lebow, Richard Ned

    Pages 45-61

  • I Love Lucy to Modern Family

    Lebow, Richard Ned

    Pages 63-86

  • Rock to Rap

    Lebow, Richard Ned

    Pages 87-104

Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-68569-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-68568-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Politics and Business of Self-Interest from Tocqueville to Trump
Authors
Series Title
International Political Theory
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-68569-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-68569-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-68568-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 125
Number of Illustrations and Tables
1 b/w illustrations, 19 illustrations in colour
Topics