Purpose - The chapter provides background for the reader, lending context to the aims of this book. Design/methodology/approach - This chapter begins by placing the study of biology and politics in a larger framework. It also compares and contrasts the biological perspective of politics with the mainstream view. Finally, the chapter orients the reader by providing a brief summary of the volume's contents. Findings - An introductory chapter would seldom provide findings. However, its goal is to provide the reader with context.