Charles Beitz rejects two highly influential conceptions of international theory as empirically inaccurate and theoretically misleading. In one, international relations is a Hobbesian state of nature in which moral judgments are entirely inappropriate, and in the other, states are analogous to persons in domestic society in having rights of autonomy that insulate them from external moral assessment and political interference. Beitz postulates that a theory of international politics should include a revised principle of state autonomy based on (...) the justice of a state's domestic institutions, and a principle of international distributive justice to establish a fair division of resources and wealth among persons situated in diverse national societies. (shrink)
Introduction. The roots of liberal-democratic theory -- Problems of interpretation -- Hobbe : the political obligation of the market. Philosophy and politicaltheory -- Human nature and the state of nature -- Models of society -- Political obligation -- Penetration and limits of Hobbe's politicaltheory -- The Levellers : franchise and freedom. The problem of franchise -- Types of franchise -- The record -- Theoretical implications -- Harrington : the opportunity state. Unexamined (...) ambiguities -- The balance and the gentry -- The bourgeois society -- The equal commonwealth and the equal agrarian -- The self-cancelling balance principle -- Harrington's stature --Locke : the politicaltheory of appropriation. Interpretations -- The theory of property right -- Class differentials in natural rights and rationality -- The ambiguous state of nature -- The ambiguous civil society -- Unsettled problems reconsidered -- Possessive individualism and liberal democracy. The seventeenth-century foundations -- The twentieth-century dilemma -- Appendix : Social classes and franchise classes in England, circa 1648. (shrink)
Feminist PoliticalTheory provides both a wide-ranging history of western feminist thought and a lucid analysis of contemporary debates. It offers an accessible and thought-provoking account of complex theories, which it relates to 'real-life' issues such as sexual violence, political representation and the family. This timely new edition has been thoroughly updated to incorporate the most recent developments in feminism and feminist scholarship throughout, in particular taking into account the impact of black and postmodern feminist thought on (...) feminist politicaltheory. (shrink)
In PoliticalTheory and Feminist Social Criticism, Brooke Ackerly demonstrates the shortcomings of contemporary deliberative democratic theory, relativism and essentialism for guiding the practice of social criticism in the real, imperfect world. Drawing theoretical implications from the activism of Third World feminists who help bring to public audiences the voices of women silenced by coercion, Brooke Ackerly provides a practicable model of social criticism. She argues that feminist critics have managed to achieve in practice what other theorists (...) do only incompletely in theory. Complemented by Third World feminist social criticism, deliberative democratic theory becomes critical theory - actionable, coherent, and self-reflective. While a complement to democratic theory, Third World feminist social criticism also addresses the problem in feminist theory associated with attempts to deal with identity politics. Third World feminist social criticism thus takes feminist theory beyond the critical impasse of the tension between anti-relativist and anti-essentialist feminist theory. (shrink)
This seminal work by political philosopher C.B. Macpherson was first published by the Clarendon Press in 1962, and remains of key importance to the study of liberal-democratic theory half-a-century later. In it, Macpherson argues that the chief difficulty of the notion of individualism that underpins classical liberalism lies in what he calls its "possessive quality" - "its conception of the individual as essentially the proprietor of his own person or capacities, owing nothing to society for them." Under such (...) a conception, the essence of humanity becomes freedom from dependence on the wills of others; society is little more than a system of economic relations; and political society becomes a means of safeguarding private property and the system of economic relations rooted in property. As the New Statesman declared: "It is rare for a book to change the intellectual landscape. It is even more unusual for this to happen when the subject is one that has been thoroughly investigated by generations of historians.... Until the appearance of Professor Macpherson's book, it seemed unlikely that anything radically new could be said about so well-worn a topic. The unexpected has happened, and the shock waves are still being absorbed." A new introduction by Frank Cunningham puts the work in a twenty-first-century context. (shrink)
When the policies and activities of one country or generation harm both other nations and later generations, they constitute serious injustices. Recognizing the broad threat posed by anthropogenic climate change, advocates for an international climate policy development process have expressly aimed to mitigate this pressing contemporary environmental threat in a manner that promotes justice. Yet, while making justice a primary objective of global climate policy has been the movement's noblest aspiration, it remains an onerous challenge for policymakers. -/- Atmospheric Justice (...) is the first single-authored work of politicaltheory that addresses this pressing challenge via the conceptual frameworks of justice, equality, and responsibility. Throughout this incisive study, Steve Vanderheiden points toward ways to achieve environmental justice by exploring how climate change raises issues of both international and intergenerational justice. In addition, he considers how the design of a global climate regime might take these aims into account. Engaging with the principles of renowned political philosopher John Rawls, he expands on them by factoring in the needs of future generations. Vanderheiden also demonstrates how politicaltheory can contribute to reaching a better understanding of the proper human response to climate change. By showing how climate policy offers insights into resolving contemporary controversies within politicaltheory, he illustrates the ways in which applying normative theory to policy allows us to better understand both. -/- Thoroughly researched and persuasively argued, Atmospheric Justice makes an important step toward providing us with a set of carefully elaborated first principles for achieving environmental justice. (shrink)
What, if anything, do the âsquare’ protests and âoccupy’ movements of 2011 bring to contemporary democratic theory? And how can we, as political theorists, analyse their discourse and do justice to it? We address these questions through an analysis of the Greek and Spanish protest movements of the spring and summer of 2011, the so-called aganaktismenoi and indignados. We trace the centrality of the critique of representation and politics as usual as well as the ideas about horizontality and (...) autonomy in the protesters’ discourse. These ideas are not only important to their critique of the contemporary liberal democratic regimes in the two countries, but also important to the way in which the protesters organise themselves. Nonetheless, as we shall argue, the protesters are caught within a tension between horizontality and verticality, between autonomy and hegemony, or between moving beyond representation and accepting representational structures. Given this tension, we examine how the protesters negotiate it in three key areas: politics, representation and organisation. Drawing on Jacques Rancière, we further argue that the protesters can be seen as making a claim to equal voice. This is what Rancière refers to as politics proper, and the question is then whether such a politics is possible without falling back into traditional forms of politics. (shrink)
This paper provides a critical overview of the realist current in contemporary political philosophy. We define political realism on the basis of its attempt to give varying degrees of autonomy to politics as a sphere of human activity, in large part through its exploration of the sources of normativity appropriate for the political and so distinguish sharply between political realism and non-ideal theory. We then identify and discuss four key arguments advanced by political realists: (...) from ideology, from the relationship of ethics to politics, from the priority of legitimacy over justice and from the nature of political judgement. Next, we ask to what extent realism is a methodological approach as opposed to a substantive political position and so discuss the relationship between realism and a few such positions. We close by pointing out the links between contemporary realism and the realist strand that runs through much of the history of Western political thought. (shrink)
Postmodernism has evoked great controversy and it continues to do so today, as it disseminates into general discourse. Some see its principles, such as its fundamental resistance to metanarratives, as frighteningly disruptive, while a growing number are reaping the benefits of its innovative perspective. In PoliticalTheory and Postmodernism, Stephen K. White outlines a path through the postmodern problematic by distinguishing two distinct ways of thinking about the meaning of responsibility, one prevalent in modern and the other in (...) postmodern perspectives. Using this as a guide, White explores the work of Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, and Habermas, as well as 'difference' feminists, with the goal of showing how postmodernism can inform contemporary ethical-political reflection. In his concluding chapter, White examines how this revisioned postmodern perspective might bear on our thinking about justice. (shrink)
This challenging book focuses on the problem of justice for indigenous peoples in philosophical, legal, cultural and political contexts and the ways in which this problem poses key questions for politicaltheory. It includes chapters by leading political theorists and indigenous scholars from Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Canada and the United States. One of the strengths of this book is the manner in which it shows how the different historical circumstances of colonisation in these countries (...) raise common problems and questions for contemporary politicaltheory. It examines ways in which politicaltheory has contributed to the past subjugation and continuing disadvantage faced by indigenous peoples, while also seeking to identify resources in contemporary political thought that can assist the ongoing processes of 'decolonisation' of relations between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. (shrink)
Marx’s Inferno reconstructs the major arguments of Karl Marx’s Capital and inaugurates a completely new reading of a seminal classic. Rather than simply a critique of classical political economy, William Roberts argues that Capital was primarily a careful engagement with the motives and aims of the workers’ movement. Understood in this light, Capital emerges as a profound work of politicaltheory. Placing Marx against the background of nineteenth-century socialism, Roberts shows how Capital was ingeniously modeled on Dante’s (...) Inferno, and how Marx, playing the role of Virgil for the proletariat, introduced partisans of workers’ emancipation to the secret depths of the modern “social Hell.” In this manner, Marx revised republican ideas of freedom in response to the rise of capitalism. Combining research on Marx’s interlocutors, textual scholarship, and forays into recent debates, Roberts traces the continuities linking Marx’s theory of capitalism to the tradition of republican political thought. He immerses the reader in socialist debates about the nature of commerce, the experience of labor, the power of bosses and managers, and the possibilities of political organization. Roberts rescues those debates from the past, and shows how they speak to ever-renewed concerns about political life in today’s world. (shrink)
Could global government be the answer to global poverty and starvation? Cosmopolitan thinkers challenge the widely held belief that we owe more to our co-citizens than to those in other countries. This book offers a moral argument for world government, claiming that not only do we have strong obligations to people elsewhere, but that accountable integration among nation-states will help ensure that all persons can lead a decent life. Cabrera considers both the views of those political philosophers who say (...) we have much stronger obligations to help our co-citizens than foreigners and those cosmopolitans who say our duties are equally strong to each but resist restructuring. He then outlines his own position, using the European Union as a partial model for the integrated alternative and advocating instituting EU-style supranational government, development aid, and free movement of persons in the Americas and other regions. Over time, Cabrera argues that the transformation of the global system into a cohesive network of democratic institutions would help ensure that anyone born anywhere could lead a decent life. This book will appeal to all those interested in political philosophy and the processes and potential of globalization. (shrink)
The objective of this article is to deepen our understanding of transformative engagement in comparative and critical dialogues of comparative or transnational political thought. The first five sections discuss the challenges of dialogical comparative political thought. The following three sections discuss how a dialogue approach responds to these challenges and generates comparative and critical mutual understanding and mutual judgment.
With their remarkable electoral successes, Green parties worldwide seized the political imagination of friends and foes alike. Mainstream politicians busily disparage them and imitate them in turn. This new book shows that 'greens' deserve to be taken more seriously than that. This is the first full-length philosophical discussion of the green political programme. Goodin shows that green public policy proposals are unified by a single, coherent moral vision - a 'green theory of value' - that is largely (...) independent of the `green theory of agency' dictating green political mechanisms, strategies and tactics on the one hand, and personal lifestyle recommendations on the other. The upshot is that we demand that politicians implement green public policies, and implement them completely, without committing ourselves to the other often more eccentric aspects of green doctrine that threaten to alienate so many potential supporters. (shrink)
For many people "animal rights" suggests campaigns against factory farms, vivisection or other aspects of our woeful treatment of animals. Zoopolis moves beyond this familiar terrain, focusing not on what we must stop doing to animals, but on how we can establish positive and just relationships with different types of animals.
In recent decades, a ‘realist’ alternative to ideal theories of politics has slowly taken shape. Bringing together philosophers, political theorists, and political scientists, this countermovement seeks to reframe inquiry into politics and political norms. Among the hallmarks of this endeavor are a moral psychology that includes the passions and emotions; a robust conception of political possibility and rejection of utopian thinking; the belief that political conflict — of values as well as interests — is both (...) fundamental and ineradicable; a focus on institutions as the arenas within which conflict is mediated and contained; and a conception of politics as a sphere of activity that is distinct, autonomous, and subject to norms that cannot be derived from individual morality. For political realists, a ‘well-ordered society’ is rarely attainable; a modus vivendi without agreement on first principles is often the only practical possibility. Not only will ‘full compliance’ never be achieved, but also it is an assumption that yields misleading accounts of political norms. While realists offer a number of compelling criticisms of ideal theory, there are some lacunae in their stance. It is not yet clear whether realism constitutes a coherent affirmative alternative to idealism. Nor have realists clarified the extent of conflict that is consistent with political order as such. And because both sides accept ‘ought implies can’ as a constraint on the validity of political norms, much of the debate between realists and idealists revolves around deep empirical disagreements that are yet to be clarified. (shrink)
This article offers some general criticisms of the idea that any politicaltheory can legitimate public health interventions, and then some particular criticisms of Civic Republicanism as a politicaltheory for public health. Civic Republicanism, I argue, legitimizes liberty-infringing public health interventions by demanding high levels of civic engagement in framing and reviewing them; to demand such engagement in pursuit of such a baseline value as health will leave insufficient civic energy for the pursuit of higher (...) values. (shrink)
The principles of liberal politicaltheory are often said to be “freestanding.” Are they indeed sufficiently detached from the cultural setting where they emerged to be intelligible to people with other backgrounds? To answer this question, this essay examines the Indian secularism debate and develops a hypothesis on the process whereby liberal principles crystallized in the West and spread elsewhere. It argues that the secularization of western political thought has not produced independent rational principles, but transformed theological (...) ideas into the “topoi” of a culture. Like all topoi, the principles of liberalism depend on other clusters of ideas present in western societies. When they migrate to new settings, the absence of these surrounding ideas presents fundamental obstacles to the interpretation and elaboration of liberal principles. The case of Indian secularism illustrates the cultural limitations of liberal politicaltheory rather than showing its universal significance. (shrink)
Republicanism and PoliticalTheory is the first book to offer a comprehensive and critical survey of republican politicaltheory. Critically assesses its historical credentials, conceptual coherence, and normative proposals Brings together original contributions from leading international scholars in an interactive way Provides the reader with valuable insight into new debates taking place in republican politicaltheory.
This article examines the methodology of a core branch of contemporary politicaltheory or philosophy: “analytic” politicaltheory. After distinguishing politicaltheory from related fields, such as political science, moral philosophy, and legal theory, the article discusses the analysis of political concepts. It then turns to the notions of principles and theories, as distinct from concepts, and reviews the methods of assessing such principles and theories, for the purpose of justifying or (...) criticizing them. Finally, it looks at a recent debate on how abstract and idealized politicaltheory should be, and assesses the significance of disagreement in politicaltheory. The discussion is carried out from an angle inspired by the philosophy of science. (shrink)
This book provides an invaluable overview of the competing schools of thought in traditional and contemporary normative international theory and seeks to provide a new basis for doing international politicaltheory and thinking about ethics in world politics today. · Part one explains the role and place of normative theory in the study of international politics before critically examining mainstream approaches in international relations and applied ethics. Here the student is introduced to the central debates between (...) realists and idealists, and cosmopolitans and communitarians. · Part two introduces the conceptual challenges of contemporary perspectives from critical theory, postmodernism and feminism and provides a platform for the author to develop her own Hegelian-Foucauldian approach for doing normative international theory. · In Part three the insights drawn from the first two parts are applied to the study of two key topics in contemporary theoretical debate: the principle of self-determination, and the democratic ideals of political cosmopolitanism. Finally conclusions are made for the future practice of theorizing international politics. Accessibly written and wide-ranging, this text will quickly become essential reading for all students and academics of politics and international relations seeking a deeper understanding of the underlying tensions and future potential of international or global politicaltheory today. (shrink)
Can politicaltheory be action-guiding without relying on pre-political normative commitments? I answer that question affirmatively by unpacking two related tenets of Raymond Geuss’ political realism: the view that political philosophy should not be a branch of ethics, and the ensuing empirically-informed conception of legitimacy. I argue that the former idea can be made sense of by reference to Hobbes’ account of authorization, and that realist legitimacy can be normatively salient in so far as it (...) stands in the correct relation to a theory of justice and problematizes its sources of value through what Geuss terms ‘political imagination’. (shrink)
: Science Studies, as developed initially in France attempt to overcome the distinctions between science and society, and correspondingly between the philosophy of science and political and social theory. Science Studies considers the theories and beliefs of scientists political rather than direct reflections of an objective natural world. I consider here Science Studies as a politicaltheory that emerged and has developed in reaction to a particular social and political context, a crisis of technocratic (...) politics in France. Some of the leading contemporary French exponents Science Studies, a group around the journal. (shrink)
European Journal of PoliticalTheory, Ahead of Print. Starting from the ‘Dewey Lectures’, Rawls presents his conception of justice within a contextualist framework, as an elaboration of the basic ideas embedded in the political culture of liberal-democratic societies. But how are these basic ideas to be justified? In this article, I reconstruct and criticize Rawls’s strategy to answer this question. I explore an alternative strategy, consisting of a genealogical argument of a pragmatic kind – the kind of (...) argument provided by authors like Bernard Williams, Edward Craig and Miranda Fricker. I outline this genealogical argument drawing on Rawls’s reconstruction of the origins of liberalism. Then, I clarify the conditions under which this kind of argument maintains vindicatory power. I claim that the argument satisfies these conditions and that pragmatic genealogy can thus partially vindicate the basic ideas of liberal-democratic societies. (shrink)
In this volume, a companion to Feminist Interpretations and PoliticalTheory (Penn State, 1991) edited by Mary Lyndon Shanley and Carole Pateman, leading feminist theorists rethink the traditional concepts of politicaltheory and expand the ...
In this lively and entertaining book, Terence Ball maintains that 'classic' works in politicaltheory continue to speak to us only if they are periodically re-read and reinterpreted from alternative perspectives. That, the author contends, is how these works became classics, and why they are regarded as such. Ball suggests a way of reading that is both 'pluralist' and 'problem-driven'--pluralist in that there is no one right way to read a text, and problem-driven in that the reinterpretation is (...) motivated by problems that emerge while reading these texts. In addition, the subsequent readings and interpretations become more and more suffused with the interpretations of others. This tour de force, always entertaining and eclectic, focuses on the core problems surrounding many of the major thinkers. Was Machiavelli really amoral? Why did language matter so much to Hobbes--and why should it matter to us? Are the roots of the totalitarian state to be found in Rousseau? Were the utilitarians sexist in their view of the franchise? The author's aim is to show how a pluralist and problem-centered approach can shed new light on old and recent works in politicaltheory, and on the controversies that continue over their meaning and significance. Written in a lively and accessible style, the book will provoke debate among students and scholars alike. (shrink)
In recent years, a number of realist thinkers have charged much contemporary politicaltheory with being idealistic and moralistic. While the basic features of the realist counter-movement are reasonably well understood, realism is still considered a critical, primarily negative creed which fails to offer a positive, alternative way of thinking normatively about politics. Aiming to counteract this general perception, in this article I draw on Bernard Williams’s claims about how to construct a politically coherent conception of liberty from (...) the non-political value of freedom. I do this because Williams’s argument provides an illuminating example of the distinctive nature of realist political thinking and its attractions. I argue that Williams’s account of realist political thinking challenges the orthodox moralist claim that normative political arguments must be guided by an ideal ethical theory. I then spell out the repercussions Williams’s claims about the significance of political opposition and non-mor... (shrink)
The mass movement of people across the globe constitutes a major feature of world politics today. -/- Whatever the cause of the movement - often war, famine, economic hardship, political repression or climate change - the governments of western capitalist states see this 'torrent of people in flight' as a serious threat to their stability and the scale of this migration indicates a need for a radical re-thinking of both politicaltheory and practice, for the sake of (...)political, social and economic justice. -/- This book argues that there is at present a serious gap between the legal and social practices of immigration and naturalisation in liberal democratic states and any theoretical justification for such practices that can be made within the tradition of liberal political philosophy. How can liberal states develop institutions of democratic citizenship and at the same time justifiably exclude 'outsiders' from participating in those institutions? The book examines various responses to this contradiction within the liberal tradition, and finds none of them satisfactory - there are no consistently liberal justifications for immigration control and this has serious implications both for liberal practice and theory. (shrink)
The politicaltheory of migration has largely occurred within a paradigm of methodological nationalism and this has led to the neglect of morally salient agents and causes. This article draws on research from the social sciences on the transnationalism, globalization and migration systems theory to show how methodological nationalist assumptions have affected the views of political theorists on membership, culture and distributive justice. In particular, it is contended that methodological nationalism has prevented political theorists of (...) migration from addressing the roles of non-state agents and of transnational economic, social and political structures. These agents and structures contribute to the asymmetrical distribution of goods and opportunities and thus have important implications for debates about migration and distributive justice. (shrink)
In fact, it requires two major social institutions--morality and government--working in a coordinated fashion to do so. This is one of the main themes of Hobbes's philosophy that will be developed in this book.
This article examines Michael Oakeshott's peculiar understanding of religion and its connection to politics and public affairs in democratic societies. It considers Oakeshott's views on both the prominence of religion as an expression of practical life, and the conciliatory role of the religious imagination in human existence. Upon inspection, Oakeshott's notion of a reconciled form of religiosity appears to be devised to speak to problems of religious enthusiasm in liberal democracies. Oakeshott's response to challenges of religious enthusiasm is insufficient and (...) problematic, however, as is the conservative disposition he advocates for individual persons in democratic polities. (shrink)
Politicaltheory has been described as an `enterprise of discovery' that carries within it the danger of utopianism. This article explores one aspect of that danger: the question of the paradoxical or circular nature of much political thinking. This seems to be both a necessary and an impossible feature of such theorizing. Politicaltheory itself seems to require an idea of utopia that is, by definition, impossible to achieve.