Instrumentalism about moral compromise in politics appears inconsistent with accepting both the existence of non-instrumental or principled reasons for moral compromise in close personal friendships and a rich ideal of civic friendship. Using a robust conception of politicalreconciliation during democratic transitions as an example of civic friendship, I argue that all three claims are compatible. Spouses have principled reasons for compromise because they commit to sharing responsibility for their joint success as partners in life, and not because (...) their relationship involves strong affective attitudes of goodwill, solidarity, trust, and the like. Since shared responsibility for ends is an inappropriate element in the political relationship between citizens, the members of a divided society may manifest the constitutive attitudes of politicalreconciliation without any commitment to principled reasons for moral compromise. (shrink)
In a world rife with civic failure, we've seen an increasing interest in the question of how to restore civic communities after they have failed. Much of that answer must come from the social sciences, of course, but philosophy has an important contribution to make: it can provide a normative theory of political community, one that outlines the characteristics of a good political community. Without such a theory, we have no basis for the claim that reconciliation is (...) desirable in the first place and no way to evaluate whether proposed efforts toward politicalreconciliation are moving things in the right direction. Colleen Murphy's A Moral Theory of PoliticalReconciliation provides exactly such a theory. (shrink)
Reconciliation is a theologically-charged word with politically-charged implications. The work of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) raised questions about reconciliation in a political context including the parts or partners of reconciliation: truth-telling, repentance, amnesty, reparations, and ultimately forgiveness and justice. This paper explores two questions. First, are theologians ready to give up an exclusive claim on reconciliation as a theological term or, at the very least, be agreeable to the fact that (...)reconciliation might have political as well as theological meanings? Second, if reconciliation is granted unhindered access across the borders of theology and politics, what wisdom from the theological tradition has informed the political praxis of reconciliation, and has political praxis in any way challenged our theological understanding of reconciliation? As responses to these questions, the paper looks at the theological development of reconciliation, with particular attention to the New Testament and subsequent historical praxis. It then discusses points of connection where the theological development has informed political praxis. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Radical injustice; 2. Which injustices? What groups?; 3. Enduring injustice; 4. Apology and acknowledgement; 5. Legitimacy and the cast of history; 6. Elusive justice; 7. A chastened liberalism.
Following extended periods of conflict or repression, politicalreconciliation is indispensable to the establishment or restoration of democratic relationships and critical to the pursuit of peacemaking globally. In this important new book, Colleen Murphy offers an innovative analysis of the moral problems plaguing political relationships under the strain of civil conflict and repression. Focusing on the unique moral damage that attends the deterioration of political relationships, Murphy identifies the precise kinds of repair and transformation that processes (...) of politicalreconciliation ought to promote. Building on this analysis, she proposes a normative model of political relationships. A Moral Theory of PoliticalReconciliation delivers an original account of the failure and restoration of political relationships, which will be of interest to philosophers, social scientists, legal scholars, policy analysts, and all those who are interested in transitional justice, global politics, and democracy. (shrink)
Although the use of truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs) has grown considerably over the last 3 decades, there is still much that we do not know concerning the choice and the structuring of TRCs. While the literature has focused primarily on the effects of TRCs, we examine the domestic and the international factors influencing the choice of a commission in sub-Saharan Africa from 1974 to 2003 using pooled cross-sectional time series. We find that states which adopted a TRC prior (...) to South Africa were generally repressive centralized regimes which used the truth commission as political cover. However, since South Africa’s TRC, democratizing states have been more likely to adopt a truth commission as a form of transitional justice. (shrink)
At the center of this paper are three questions: in the absence of a religious worldview, can one gain access to the concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation, can reconciliation be achieved in the absence of forgiveness or does the former depend in some way upon the latter, and can we make sense of a restorative approach to justice in the absence of either forgiveness or reconciliation? To answer these questions, I look closely at the concept of forgiveness (...) in the first section of this article with the goals of disentangling it from its religious undertones and emphasizing its importance to the very concept of restorative justice. Drawing on both theoretical work and practical examples, I argue that forgiveness is not necessarily a religious concept ? contrary to common perception ? and that, contra Zehr, it is a foundational component of restorative justice. Having considered this first problem, I turn ? in the second section ? to a discussion of the concept of reconciliation, arguing that personal and politicalreconciliation must be separated from one another and from the concept of forgiveness. Ultimately, I conclude that forgiveness and reconciliation are quite different concepts, that the latter relies on the former, and that the latter is a goal rather than a necessary component of restorative justice. Drawing largely on the work of Hannah Arendt, Susan Dwyer, Trudy Govier, and Howard Zehr, as well as discussions with members of Murder Victims? Families for Reconciliation, I argue that politicalreconciliation between groups can be achieved in the absence of personal reconciliation between individual victims and perpetrators in those groups. Further, I demonstrate that restorative practices open up the possibility of both types of reconciliation, but that they are ultimately founded only on the principle of forgiveness. (shrink)
Political science is divided between methodological individualists, who seek to explain political phenomena by reference to individuals and their interactions, and holists (or nonreductionists), who consider some higher-level social entities or properties such as states, institutions, or cultures ontologically or causally significant. We propose a reconciliation between these two perspectives, building on related work in philosophy. After laying out a taxonomy of different variants of each view, we observe that (i) although political phenomena result from underlying (...) individual attitudes and behavior, individual-level descriptions do not always capture all explanatorily salient properties, and (ii) nonreductionistic explanations are mandated when social regularities are robust to changes in their individual-level realization. We characterize the dividing line between phenomena requiring nonreductionistic explanation and phenomena permitting individualistic explanation and give examples from the study of ethnic conflicts, social-network theory, and international-relations theory. (shrink)
This dissertation is a philosophical investigation of forgiveness, in both interpersonal and political contexts. The aim of the dissertation is to demonstrate the merits of a broad, multidimensional account that remains faithful to the moral phenomenology of forgiving and being forgiven. Previous philosophical work has tended to see forgiveness primarily in terms of reactive attitudes: specifically, the struggle to overcome resentment. Yet defining forgiveness along these lines fails to do justice to common intuitions that, for example, forgiveness may be (...) a gift offered to another, that it may be the remission of a debt or burden, or that it may 'wipe clean' a stain. Against standard philosophical models that limit its nature to a single dimension, the multidimensional model acknowledges its affective, cognitive and socially performative aspects. -/- My investigation begins by considering characteristic features of forgiveness, the reasons we have to forgive, and its potential moral value. In my preliminary chapters, I present my case against narrow theories of forgiveness, particularly those that define it in terms of attitude alone. In Chapter Three, I situate forgiveness in the context of moral considerations, by analyzing its relationship to other important moral values (trust, compassion, and moral sensitivity) and by defending an account of elective forgiveness. My fourth chapter turns from the act of forgiving to the limits of forgiveness. I discuss forgiveness of hostile or absent wrongdoers, forgiveness of injuries to other people ('third party forgiveness'), and the 'unforgivable.' Some philosophical discussions of the unforgivable have confused what is conceptually unforgivable with what is morally or even empirically unforgivable. By disentangling these threads, I argue that there are, in principle at least, no moral limits on what we may forgive. My concluding chapter applies the multidimensional model of forgiveness to recent discussions of the topic in political philosophy. I argue that the multidimensional model can meaningfully connect a range of forgiving practices in a political context, from transitional justice to interpersonal reconciliation. (shrink)
Politicalreconciliation involves the repairing of damaged political relationships. This paper considers the possibility and moral justifiability of pursuing politicalreconciliation in the aftermath of systematic and egregious wrongdoing, in particular genocide. The first two sections discuss what politicalreconciliation specifically requires. I argue that it neither entails nor necessitates forgiveness. Rather, I claim, politicalreconciliation should be conceptualized as the (re-)establishment of Fullerian mutual respect for the rule of law. When (...) a society governs by law, publicly declared legal rules establish clear and practicable standards for behavior which are enforced in practice. Subjects of the law thus can form stable and reasonable predictions of how other citizens and officials will respond to their actions. After explaining why this analysis of politicalreconciliation is compelling, the third section spells out the implications of my analysis for determining the possibility of achieving and the justifiability of pursuing politicalreconciliation. (shrink)
Suppose that it can be right to grant amnesty from criminal and civil liability to those guilty of political crimes in exchange for full disclosure about them. There remains this important question to ask about the proper form that amnesty should take: Which additional burdens, if any, should the state lift from wrongdoers in the wake of according them freedom from judicial liability? I answer this question in the context of a recent South African Constitutional Court case that considered (...) whether an officer having been granted amnesty for apartheid-era killings should be held to mean that the police force may not discharge him on the ground of having been convicted of a serious offence. The Court ruled that, despite amnesty having been granted to the guilty officer, the police force was permitted to discharge him. I distinguish the major ethical reasons the Court gives for its conclusion, which ultimately appeal to the value of national reconciliation, and I argue not only that the reconciliation-based rationales rest on empirical contingencies for which there is little evidence, but also that their logic in fact provides some reason to reject the Court’s conclusion. Then, I sketch an attractive new theory of right action, grounded on salient sub-Saharan values often associated with talk of ‘ubuntu’, that I maintain provides a stronger, unitary foundation for the Court’s key pronouncements. I conclude by discussing some of the broader implications of the moral theory for related matters, such as the rights of victims in the processes leading up to presidential pardons of those who have committed atrocities and the duties of newspapers with regard to the reputations of the latter. (shrink)
The core proposition of this article is that reconciliation, both as a process and an end state, is a concept of justice. Its animating virtue is mercy and its goal is peace. These concepts are expressed most deeply in religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The idea of justice as right relationship is also found in the contemporary restorative justice movement, an approach to criminal justice that has emerged in the past generation. For contemporary political orders addressing (...) past war, genocide, and authoritarianism, the holistic justice of reconciliation involves not only the legal guarantee and actual practice of human rights and the laws of war but also a redress of the range of wounds that political injustices inflict. Reconciliation is achieved through a set of six political practices that seek to restore a measure of human flourishing. A secondary fruit of these practices is an increase in the legitimacy that citizens bequeath to their governing institutions or to their state's relationship with other states. The article takes a close look at two of the practices that are often thought to be at odds in addressing past injustices—punishment and forgiveness—and argues that when viewed as practices that reflect and participate in a restorative concept of justice, punishment and forgiveness become compatible in principle—with important implications for the politics of facing past evil. (shrink)
Over the past decade or so political leaders around the world have begun to apologize for, and even seek reconciliation between perpetrators and victims of large-scale moral wrongs such as slavery, campaigns of ethnic cleansing, and official regimes of racial segregation. The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is probably the most well-known example of such political efforts to effect what might be called moral healing within and between nations. In this essay, I canvass various (...) senses of reconciliation, clarifying which are appropriate for understanding these recent political efforts to heal the wounds caused by state-sanctioned moral atrocities. I argue that interpersonal reconciliation is not likely to be a promising model for understanding political efforts to achieve moral closure for large-scale wrongs, and I close with some worries about the efficacy of state-sponsored attempts to reconcile victims to their wrongdoers. (shrink)
This essay argues that the overuse of the idiom of forgiveness has distorted our understanding of the nature and requirements of politicalreconciliation, and proposes its supplementation by a notion of grace. This is a mode of response to wrongs that is less hedged around by conventions and conditions, and grace complements forgiveness in contexts in which the latter is inappropriate; it is also more serviceable for maintaining inter-community harmony in the long term. Following a detailed analysis of (...) grace in the political environment, the paper concludes by tracing a concept of grace in the Sermon on the Mount. (shrink)
This book provides an authoritative account of Hegel's social philosophy at a level that presupposes no specialised knowledge of the subject. Hegel's social theory is designed to reconcile the individual with the modern social world. Michael Hardimon explores the concept of reconciliation in detail and discusses Hegel's views on the relationship between individuality and social membership, and on the family, civil society, and the state. The book is an important addition to the string of major studies of Hegel published (...) by Cambridge. It will interest a broad swathe of readers in philosophy, (both students and specialists), and could be used in courses on political and social theory. (shrink)
The political passages in Polanyi’s Personal Knowledge are an integral part of his arguments against ‘objectivism’ and/or a post-critical, personalist, fiduciary and fallibilist philosophy. This paper elaboratesthe social and political implications of Polanyi’s emphasis upon acceptance of one’s situation and the exercise in it of a sense of responsibility to transcendent ideals, as against attempts to start with a clean slate, to overcome all imperfections and to find some simple rule for political policy. Prescriptive duties and rights, (...) and mutual trust and solidarity, are the bases of politics, anti responsible action must start with them. But much of modern politics expresses a Gnostic impatience of our created and finite existence which results in arbitrary commitment to some radical and destructive ideology. (shrink)
Mathews, Race This essay - appearing in two parts - examines aspects of the early and middle phases of the episcopate of Archbishop Daniel Mannix, in the context of a wider study of responses to Catholic social teachings in Victoria between 1891 and 1966. Part I dealt mainly with Mannix's significance and early life, and the focus in Part II is on the episcopate up to and including the onset of the Great Depression.
Deliberative democracy is often celebrated and endorsed because of its promise to include, empower, and emancipate otherwise oppressed and excluded social groups through securing their voice and granting them impact in reasoned public deliberation. This article explores the ability of Habermas’ theory of deliberative democracy to accommodate the demands of historically excluded social groups in democratic plural societies. It argues that the inclusive, transformative, and empowering potential of Habermas’ theory of deliberative democracy falters when confronted with particular types of historical (...) injustices. It falters because it pays little attention to the historical dimension of injustices and the demands to which it gives rise. The historical dimension of longstanding injustices, it is argued, gives rise to a set of distinctive demands, such as collective memory of exclusion, acknowledgement of historical injustices, taking responsibility, and offering apology and reparations for causing these injustices, which go beyond the type of democratic inclusion that is often offered by deliberative democracy. Yet, the solution is not to abandon the model of deliberative democracy. Quite the contrary, it remains a valuable basis for forward-looking political decision making. The article concludes that in order to achieve inclusive, empowering and transformative deliberation in consolidated democracies that have experienced historical injustices, the politics of reconciliation is indispensable. (shrink)
Yannis Stavrakakis moves beyond the standard discussion of the Lacanian concept of the subject in a socio-political context, toward an analysis of the objective side of human experience. In the first part of Lacan and the Political, the author highlights Lacan's innovative understanding of the sociopolitical field and offers a straightforward and systematic assessment of the importance of Lanca's categories and theoretical construction for concrete political analysis. The second half of he book applies Lacanian theory to specific (...) examples of widely discussed political issues, such as Green ideology, the question of democracy and the hegemony of advertising in contemporary culture. Lacan and the Political demonstrates the immense potential of Lacanian thought to invigorate our consideration of the political and will be of interest to all who seek to further their understanding of modern ideological discourse in politics. (shrink)
The political unconscious -- Modernity's traumas -- Targeting the public sphere -- The repetition compulsion or the endless war on terror -- Recovering community -- Deliberative democracy -- Feminist theory, politics, and freedom -- Public knowledge -- Three models of democratic deliberation -- The limits of deliberation, democratic myths, new frontiers -- Media and the public sphere -- Epilogue.
This paper replies to the account of forgiveness developed in Griswold’s Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration. It defends the idea that “unilateral” forgiveness is the paradigm case of the virtue of forgiveness, rejecting Griswold’s claims that forgiveness is essentially a “dyadic” virtue, and that reconciliation of the wronged party with the wrongdoer is a defining element of forgiveness. Forgiveness is fundamentally a matter of being reconciled to the persistence of human wrongdoing, as expressed in particular instances. Reconciliation may well (...) be essential to some attempts at “political apology” for wide-scale wrongdoing. But then, contrary to some of Griswold’s claims, forgiveness will be central to many national projects of bringing about civic reconciliation. The paper also distinguishes between the project of seeking moral reconciliation from the project of seeking and granting political recognition for those who have been denied civic status. Contrary to Griswold’s view, the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial is best understood as a project of seeking and granting recognition, not as an attempt to produce civic reconciliation in response to the Vietnam War. (shrink)
Violating the human status : the evil of genocide and crimes against humanity -- Superfluous humanity : the evil of global poverty -- Citizens of nowhere : the evil of statelessness -- Effacing the political : the evil of neoliberal globalization.
In this book, Chiara Bottici argues for a philosophical understanding of political myth. Bottici shows that myth is a process, one of continuous work on a basic narrative pattern that responds to a need for significance. Human beings need meaning in order to master the world they live in, but they also need significance in order to live in a world that is less indifferent to them. This is particularly true in the realm of politics. Political myths are (...) narratives through which we orient ourselves, and act and feel about our political world. Bottici shows that in order to come to terms with contemporary phenomena, such as the clash between civilizations, we need a Copernican revolution in political philosophy. If we want to save reason, we need to look at it from the standpoint of myth. (shrink)
The force of things -- The agency of assemblages -- Edible matter -- A life of metal -- Neither vitalism nor mechanism -- Stem cells and the culture of life -- Political ecologies -- Vitality and self-interest.
Leni Riefenstahl meets Charlie Chaplin : aesthetics of the Third Reich -- Artphilosophical themes -- Dead Kennedys and Black Flags : artpolitics of punk -- Prehistory of political aesthetics -- Red, gold, black, and green : black nationalist aesthetics -- Arthistorical themes -- Political power and transcendental geometry : Republican classicism in early America.
This book explores the impact of poststructuralism on contemporary political theory by focussing on a number of problems and issues central to politics today. Drawing on the theoretical concerns brought to light by the 'poststructuralist' thinkers Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze and Max Stirner, Newman provides a critical examination of new developments in contemporary political theory: post-Marxism, discourse analysis, new theories of ideology and power, hegemony, radical democracy and psychoanalytic theory. He re-examines the political in light of these (...) developments in theory to suggest new ways of thinking about politics through a reflection on the challenges that confront it. This will volume will be of great interest to students of postmodernism and poststructuralist theory in political science, philosophy, sociology, philosophy and cultural studies. (shrink)
Gender and Rhetoric in the Politics of Plato explores the relation between Plato's Republic and Laws on the set of issues that the Laws itself marks out as fundamental to the comparison: the unity of the virtues, the role of women, and the place of the family. Plato aims to persuade men to abandon the view of the good life that Greek cities and their laws inculcate as the only life worth living for those who would be real men and (...) not effeminate weaklings. What we can learn about Plato is the importance for him of understanding the nature of persuasion in order to come to terms with gender justice and the apparent plurality of human goods. What we learn from Plato is that to tackle the issues that arise in our new political community of men and women we must comprehend the proper bases and limits of persuasion. (shrink)
Men in Political Theory builds on feminist re-readings of the traditional canon of male writers in political philosophy by turning the "gender lens" on to the representation of men in widely studied texts. It explains the distinction between "man" as an apparently de-gendered "individual" or "citizen" and "man" as an overtly gendered being in human society. The ten chapters on Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx and Engels show the operation of the "gender lens" in (...) different ways, depending on how each philosopher deploys concepts of men and masculinity to pose and solve classic problems. (shrink)
Preface -- Introduction: the scandal of reason and the paradox of judgment -- Political judgment and the vocation of critical theory -- Critical theory: political judgment as ideologiekritik -- Philosophical liberalism: reasonable judgment -- Liberalism and critical theory in dispute -- Judgment unbound: Arendt -- From critique of power to a theory of critical judgment -- The political epistemology of judgment -- The critical consensus model -- Judgment, criticism, innovation -- Conclusion: letting go of ideal theory.
Francis Bacon : a new interpretation of nature -- Thomas Hobbes' scientific approach to politics -- John Locke and the origins of political resistance -- The ethic and practice of modern natural science -- Critical theory and the critique of modernity -- Michel Foucault and the postmodern reaction.
Prologue : narratocracy and the contours of political life -- From nomos to nomad : Kant, Deleuze, and Rancière on sensation -- The piazza, the edicola, and the noise of the utterance -- Machiavelli's theory of sensation and Florence's vita festiva -- The viewing subject : Caravaggio, Bacon, and the ring -- "You're eating too fast!" slow food's ethos of convivium -- Epilogue : "the photographs tell it all" : on an ethics of appearance.
Ecology and Revolution: Global Crisis and the Political Challenge is an in-depth exploration and analysis of the global ecological crisis (going far beyond the issue of global warming) in the larger context of historical conditions and ...
Introduction -- Deleuze and Guattari and political theory -- Dramatization as critical method -- Dramatization : the ontological claims -- Language and the method of dramatization -- Cinema and the method of dramatization -- Events and the method of dramatization -- Conclusion.
Images of political thought -- Delicate discriminations : Thomas Hobbes's science of politics -- The banality of the negative : Gilles Deleuze's ethics of the problem -- The beautiful and the sublime in Rawls and Rancire -- The force of political argument : Habermas, Hazlitt, and the essay -- Les sans papiers, or, No vox populi, vox Dei.
Introduction : our political present -- Possibilities for a political future -- Respecting resistance -- Aesthetic perspectives -- Aesthetic pitfalls -- Political perspectives -- Political pitfalls -- Improvising communities.
What role should the idea of evil have in contemporary moral and social thought? The concept of 'evil' has long been a key idea in moral discourse. Now, the contributors to this volume make a start on the important task of systematically exploring evil in the context of political theory. Intuitively, we know what evil means. Yet once we begin to think about its meaning we quickly uncover competing definitions. In recent years, political theorists have generally set the (...) concept aside as outdated or inappropriate. Yet the idea that some things are wrong beyond toleration still has significant currency. If 'evil' can capture that significance, it merits a closer look. (shrink)