Interview with Philip Tether

You have published a number of books on aspects of politics through Smashwords and other platforms - are these all part of a series?
Yes. They are free-standing but link together to present a multi-layered analysis of the ideas, structures, people and processes which go to shape the world of politics. The focus is largely but not exclusively on the UK. Where appropriate, examples and illustrations are drawn from around the world including the USA and Europe. The material is designed to be accessible to students at all levels from beginners to university students. ‘Aims,’ ‘Contents’ and ‘Learning Outcomes’ are specified at the start of every text and each concludes with an overview summary and a set of review questions for independent learning.
How many are in the series?
Six have been published so far on Smashwords and many linked platforms. They are:
1. The Purpose of Politics (what is politics and what function does it serve?).
2. Political Systems (to do politics we need a variety of structures and processes - what are they and how do they work?).
3. Popular Democracy (what is democracy, what are its guiding principles and how does it function?).
4. Liberal Democracy (what is liberal-democracy, what does this two-part term mean and how are the two words related?).
5. Political Ideology and the Liberal Centre (what is political ideology, how can we characterise and catalogue it and why is liberalism the core ideology of the modern world?).
6. Political Ideology: Politics on the Right (what does right-wing mean, what distinguishes right-wing from left-wing ideologies, and what ideologies do we find on the Right?).
More are planned on left-wing ideology, the European Union (EU) and global governance.
When did you first start writing?
When I first went to university as a mature student. I began with the usual student essays and once appointed a teaching post I began to write and to publish extensively.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I felt I would like to share my knowledge and insights gathered over a lifetime of teaching government politics with a wider audience. I hope I spark interest and understanding in a fascinating topic - how we govern ourselves and learn to live with others.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like to get ideas and arguments clear in my head and then convey these, communicate them, to others with the greatest clarity possible. Now that's an achievement!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
By offering a fantastic platform providing access to so many possible readers and audiences.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly history and biographies. I've just finished (January 2016) Thomas Asbridge's 'The Greatest Night' which is the story of William Marshall born in the Twelfth Century who rose to become the most famous medieval knight and to serve seven Plantagenet kings. Lots of politics there - mostly of the 'Game of Thrones' kind!
What do your fans mean to you?
They make all the hard work worthwhile!
Who are your favorite authors?
Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh, Sebastian Faulks, Joseph Conrad, Author Conan Doyle, Doris Lessing, Philip K Dick. Gosh! the list goes on....
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy reading fiction and non-fiction - the latter mostly biographies and history. I am a regular cinema goer and enjoy walking and talking and meeting new people and new ideas.
Describe your desk
I like order but in practice find it hard to achieve. So, my desk is full of books and papers which periodically get swept away and tidied up only for the process to start over again.
What is your writing process?
Read, sit, think, read again, sit think and at some point something like the opening paragraphs take shape and a pathway through the material opens up.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember the first academic article - it was the operation of the Health Ombudsman in the UK.
Why are you interested in government and politics?
Because the subject takes us to the heart of a core human problem - how do we live together and reach collective decisions on what is to be done? Politics has been well-defined as the process of 'deciding who gets what, where and when'. It's a fundamental activity this choosing, this deciding and it makes social, collective life possible. There are though many ways we can go about this deciding, many different uses and abuses of politics, many different political systems. So not only does the subject take us to the heart of a common human dilemma - who gets what where and when - it introduces us to a wide variety of political traditions, cultures and mechanisms.
Published 2016-01-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Political Ideology: Politics on the Right
Price: $12.00 USD. Words: 38,400. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » World politics
This book continues the exploration of the ideological spectrum with a detailed analysis of the right wing of politics. This will involve examining the ideology of the British Conservative Party in some detail, Christian democracy (a type of conservatism found in Western Europe) and finally, ideologies on the radical-right including fascism. Concluding with a summary of the material covered.
Political Ideology and the Liberal Centre
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 16,690. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » World politics, Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Democracy
This book explores the nature of political ideology. What is it, why is it important, how can we categorise it? The text - designed for students and the general reader - addresses these questions. It then offers a detailed examination of liberalism identified as the key ideology of the modern world. The book provides a clear set of Learning Outcomes and Review Questions to test understanding.
Liberal Democracy
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 20,570. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Government, Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Government
Liberal democracy is a term we use all the time. What do we mean by it? What do the two words imply and how do they relate to each other? This introductory and accessible text on the complex nature of liberal democracy is designed for students and the general reader. Clear learning outcomes are provided and the text concludes with a set of review questions designed to test understanding
Popular Democracy
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 19,070. Language: English. Published: December 17, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Democracy, Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Government
This book examines popular democracy - its origins and the key central notion; the sovereignty of the people. It is designed for students and the general reader. Different interpreations of democracy are identified and discussed. The role of electoral systems is examined at length. The opens with Aims and Learning Outcomes and concludes with a set of Review Questions to test understanding.
Political Systems
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 22,140. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: November 6, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Government
This book examines political systems. Political systems are the structures and processes which channel, direct and enable the decision-making activities which are the hall-mark of politics. The text is designed for students and the general reader. It opens with a clear set of Aims and Learning Outcomes and concludes with a summary and a set of Review Questions to test understanding
The Purpose of Politics
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 20,250. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Government
This book examines the nature and function of politics - what it is, who does it, how and why? What is special about the activity of politics? The concept is defined and then systematically analysed. The text is designed for students and the general reader alike. Clear learning outcomes are provided and the book concludes with a set of review questions to test understanding of the material.