Religious Political Parties and the Limits of Political Liberalism

Res Publica 17 (2):107-123 (2011)

Authors
Matteo Bonotti
Monash University
Abstract
Political parties have only recently become a subject of investigation in political theory. In this paper I analyse religious political parties in the context of John Rawls’s political liberalism. Rawlsian political liberalism, I argue, overly constrains the scope of democratic political contestation and especially for the kind of contestation channelled by parties. This restriction imposed upon political contestation risks undermining democracy and the development of the kind of democratic ethos that political liberalism cherishes. In this paper I therefore aim to provide a broader and more inclusive understanding of ‘reasonable’ political contestation, able to accommodate those parties (including religious ones) that political liberalism, as customarily understood, would exclude from the democratic realm. More specifically, I first embrace Muirhead and Rosenblum’s (Perspectives on Politics 4: 99–108 2006) idea that parties are ‘bilingual’ links between state and civil society and I draw its normative implications for party politics. Subsequently, I assess whether Rawls’s political liberalism is sufficiently inclusive to allow the presence of parties conveying religious and other comprehensive values. Due to Rawls’s thick conceptions of reasonableness and public reason, I argue, political liberalism risks seriously limiting the number and kinds of comprehensive values which may be channelled by political parties into the public political realm, and this may render it particularly inhospitable to religious political parties. Nevertheless, I claim, Rawls’s theory does offer some scope for reinterpreting the concepts of reasonableness and public reason in a thinner and less restrictive sense and this may render it more inclusive towards religious partisanship
Keywords Religious political parties  Political liberalism  Public reason  Reasonableness  Unreasonable parties
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11158-010-9138-7
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,599
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls - 2001 - Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Political Liberalism: Expanded Edition.John Rawls - 2005 - Columbia University Press.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Partisanship and Public Reason.Matteo Bonotti - 2014 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (3):314-331.
Introduction: Parties, Partisanship and Political Theory.Veit Bader & Matteo Bonotti - 2014 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (3):253-266.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

“Political, Not Metaphysical”.James W. Boettcher - 2003 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 77:205-219.
Justice and Restrain.João Cardoso Rosas - 2006 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 2:153-157.
Epistemic Foundations of Political Liberalism.Fabienne Peter - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (5):598-620.
What is Reasonableness?James Boettcher - 2004 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (5-6):597-621.
Rawls’s Notion of the Political Conception as Educator.Steinar Bøyum - 2013 - European Journal of Political Theory 12 (2):136-152.
Political Liberalism, the Internal Conception, and the Problem of Public Dogma.Thomas M. Besch - 2012 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 2 (1):153-177.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-12-24

Total views
122 ( #67,704 of 2,280,581 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #76,530 of 2,280,581 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature