Public Reason 2 (2):21-39 (2010)

Authors
Enzo Rossi
University of Amsterdam
Abstract
A polity is grounded in a modus vivendi (MV) when its main features can be presented as the outcome of a virtually unrestricted bargaining process. Is MV compatible with the consensus-based account of liberal legitimacy, i.e. the view that political authority is well grounded only if the citizenry have in some sense freely consented to its exercise? I show that the attraction of MV for consensus theorists lies mainly in the thought that a MV can be presented as legitimated through a realist account of public justification. Yet I argue that, because of persistent ethical diversity, that realism problematically conflicts with the liberal commitments that underpin the very ideas of consensus and public justification. Thus, despite the interest it has recently attracted from critics of political liberalism and deliberative democracy, MV is not an option for those wishing to ground liberal political authority in some form of consensus. So if realist and agonistic critiques are on target, then the fact that modus vivendi is not an option casts some serious doubt on the viability of the consensus view of liberal legitimacy.
Keywords consensus  legitimacy  liberalism  modus vivendi  Rawls  public reason  realism
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Political Liberalism by John Rawls. [REVIEW]Philip Pettit - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):215-220.
Realism in Political Theory.William A. Galston - 2010 - European Journal of Political Theory 9 (4):385-411.
Moral Conflict and Political Legitimacy.Thomas Nagel - 1987 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 16 (3):215-240.

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Citations of this work BETA

Consensus, Compromise, Justice and Legitimacy.Enzo Rossi - 2013 - Critical Review of Social and International Political Philosophy 16 (4):557-572.
Consensus, Compromise, Justice and Legitimacy.Enzo Rossi - 2013 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (4):557-572.
Compromise, Pluralism, and Deliberation.Daniel Weinstock - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (5):636-655.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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