The politics of communitarianism

Critical Review 8 (2):297-340 (1994)
Abstract
Taylor, Sandel, Walzer, and MacIntyre waver between granting the community authority over the individual and limiting this authority so severely that communitarianism becomes a dead letter. The reason for this vacillation can be found in the aspiration of each theorist to base liberal values?equality and liberty?on particularism. Communitarians compound liberal formalism by adding to the liberal goal, individual autonomy, the equally abstract aim of grounding autonomy in a communally shared identity. Far from returning political theory to substantive considerations of the good, communitarianism legitimizes really existing liberal politics?the politics of the nation?state.
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