Both Rawls and Walzer argue for a supreme emergency exemption and are commonly thought to do so for the same reasons. However, far from ‘aping’ Walzer, Rawls engages in a reconstruction of the exemption that changes its focus altogether, making clear its dependence on an account of universal human rights and the idea of a well-ordered society. This paper is therefore, in the first instance, textual, demonstrating that Rawls has been misinterpreted in the case of supreme emergency. In the second (...) instance the approach is reconstructive, providing a reinterpretation of Rawls that fits his treatment of supreme emergency with his broader commitments in just war and international relations. This reinterpretation enables us to draw out a pattern of argument that Rawls appears to share with a much more strident liberal cosmopolitanism. (shrink)
Political Constructivism is concerned with the justification of principles of political justice in the face of pluralism. Contemporary accounts of multiculturalism, pluralism and diversity have challenged the capacity of political theory to impartially justify principles of justice beyond the boundaries of particular communities. In this original account, Peri Roberts argues that political constructivism defends a conception of objective and universal principles that set normative limits to justifiable political practice. _Political Constructivism_ explores this understanding in two ways. Firstly, by engaging with (...) constructivist thinkers such as John Rawls and Onora O’Neill in order to lay out a basic understanding of what constructivism is. Secondly, the author goes on to defend a particular account of political constructivism that justifies a universal primary constructivism alongside the many secondary constructions in which we live our everyday lives. In doing so he outlines an understanding of principled pluralism which accepts diversity whilst at the same time recognising its limits. This volume will be of particular interest to students and researchers of political theory and political philosophy. (shrink)
Your conceptual toolkit for the study of political thoughtPraise for the first edition'This seems really to have been written with the first-year student in mind. The editors write in a way that is clear, intelligent and engaging without being at all condescending.'Politics Studies Review New for this edition* Brand new chapter on international political thought, reflecting one of the most striking developments in contemporary political theoryThis textbook gives you all the vocabulary you need - political, conceptual and historical - to (...) engage confidently and deeply with political thought and the moral and political worlds in which we live.It traces the history of political thought from Plato and Aristotle to Kymlicka and Rorty, following a unique dual structure that introduces key thinkers and core concepts together, making it suitable for any course structure. (shrink)
The liberal and democratic political order is underpinned by universal principles of justice. However, the universality of these principles is now being questioned and undermined by challenges from postmodernism, communitarianism, multiculturalism and other forms of anti-foundationalism. These challenges highlight the sheer diversity of cultures and values, treating liberal values and democratic political culture as one idea of social organization amongst many. While social and political orders are capable of almost endless variation, it may be that not every diverse order is (...) legitimate and we can justifiably regard some forms of social organization as beyond the pale and a 'thin' form of universalism has been developed to support this contention. The core idea behind 'thin universalism' is that it is possible to rehabilitate the universalist aspirations of normative theory while acknowledging the force of many antifoundationalist and multiculturalist criticisms of universalism. This book brings together prominent international political theorists to explain and discuss this contested concept and explore how we can stand up for and act upon principles in a world characterized by cultural difference, moral skepticism, and political division. The authors present a variety of perspectives: some chapters are sympathetic to the idea of a thin universalist account of justification, some are reluctant advocates and others are skeptical about its success or even desirability. Opening out core debates in contemporary normative theory, this volume will be of great interest to researchers and scholars working in the fields of contemporary political theory, political philosophy and IR theory. (shrink)
Introduction -- Constructivism and a theory of justice -- The constructivism of political liberalism -- Primary constructivism and O'Neill -- Reasoning practically: a constructivist understanding of practical reasoning -- Making practice reasonable: political constructivism.