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Why is modern political theory philosophically so feeble and politically so unconvincing? This volume of essays discusses the historical sources of these weaknesses and suggests how they might begin to be remedied. The essays treat in relation to one another the history of modern philosophy and the practical relations between states, societies and economies in the modern world. The different approaches required to understand each of these are displayed, and the formidable difficulties of combining them satisfactorily are examined. Only if that is achieved however, do we stand a chance in John Dunn's view of overcoming the limitation of existing understandings of politics. And only then will we be able to arrive at a theory of collective prudence which unites moral awareness and a realistic appreciation of the nature, and the dangers, of modern politics.