J.S. Mill's Political Thought

A Bicentennial Reassessment

J.S. Mill's Political Thought

While John Stuart Mill's writing remains a touchstone for debates over liberty and liberalism, many other dimensions of his political philosophy are often ignored. Yet Mill's relevance has only grown since the end of the Cold War, with the resurgence of nationalism, the emergence of new forms of imperial power, and a renewed interest in state-building and the constitution of democracy. This book illustrates the breadth and depth of Mill's political writings. It offers a critical reassessment of Mill's political philosophy in light of recent global development and political transformation.


“This timely and vibrant book makes a major contribution to the history of ideas, and offers a good deal more. Its fresh and provocative essays renew our interest in John Stuart Mill by emplacing his writings at the center of a wide range of issues about democracy, pluralism, domination, and empire that are fundamental to political liberalism, in his time and in ours.” -- Ira Katznelson, Columbia University

“A greatly valuable collection of new essays on Mill by a set of distinguished scholars. The book admirably covers Mill's thought about practical affairs and analyzes with patience and imagination his powerful theoretical writings in moral and political philosophy. We are given fine testimony to Mill's incomparable genius.” -- George Kateb, Princeton University

"J.S. Mill's Political Thought provides a timely reminder that Mill was far more than a Utilitarian philosopher and far more than the author of "On Liberty." The Mill presented by the wide-ranging essays in this volume is a political thinker of the first rank; one whose thought is surprisingly concrete, historical, and non-dogmatic; one whose struggles with the political issues of his own day--including bureaucratic despotism, national liberation, foreign intervention, imperialism, the nature of civic education, and the role of participation--throws a sharp light on those of our time. The essays do a remarkable job of bringing Mill into dialogue with contemporary concerns, while never losing sight of the complex character of Mill's eclectic and inimitable brand of liberalism." -- Dana Villa, University of Notre Dame