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Publisher Description

J.A. Corry, one of Canada's outstanding political scientists,

in the Alan B. Plaunt Lectures for 1963 has contributed a brilliant and provocative

analysis of the changed world in which politics and students of politics must

operate today. He suggests first that political studies can no longer be confined to

the frame long held adequate. The eighteenth-century view of man as essentially

rational suited an age of individualism and liberal optimism but is inadequate for

politics in our mass society: here theology has something to contribute. Political

science has in the past confined its attention to the operation of governments and

political parties but has not for this age taken enough account of the influence of

the social structure as a whole on political behaviour: here is where sociology may

speak. With this background Principal Corry talks of the difficulties of

understanding our present-day political ideas and theories hitherto usually relied

on for the purpose. He goes on to look at some aspects of the collectivist, mass

society we live in today and to consider how far these may be producing new

dimensions in political behaviour.

There is abroad today a mood of

disenchantment and frustration because politics has disappointed us but ironically

this mood may endanger such recovery of control as is open to us. Effective power is

being gathered into relatively few hands. In this society where will the individual

find confidence and self-reliance and a sense of responsibility? We face a dilemma

in "the end of ideology," in the slipping of convictions about what can be

achieved through politics, and this affects both governments, politicians and

individuals. Answers to the many questions about human nature and society which this

dilemma presents are not easy to find, but must be sought. The skill and power with

which Principal Corry has marshalled the questions ensure our attention and


Politics & Current Events
December 15
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
University of Toronto Press

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