In his 1651 book, Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes imagined the state as the biblical sea monster. Professor David Runciman examines how different philosophers down the centuries have understood the relationship of citizens to the people who govern the state.
Starting with Thomas Hobbes, this book explains how various thinkers have understood and explained the state and its relationship to the people within it. These thinkers range from Gandhi to Marx and from Mary Wollstonecraft to Francis Fukuyama.
The reference point is always Hobbes’s Leviathan and how more modern thinkers have agreed with, contradicted or thought differently to Hobbes and how their thoughts influenced the events of their times.