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In the wake of what has come to be called the ‘cultural turn’, it is often asked how the state should respond to the different and sometimes conflicting justice claims made by its citizens and what, ultimately, is the purpose of justice in culturally diverse societies. Building upon the work of a diversity of theorists, this book demonstrates that there is a distinct ‘epistemic’ tradition of liberalism that can be used to critique contemporary responses to cultural diversity and their underlying principles of justice. It critically examines multicultural, nationalist and liberal egalitarian approaches and argues that an epistemic account of liberalism, that emphasises social complexity rather than cultural diversity or homogeneity, is the most appropriate response to the question of justice in modern culturally diverse societies. Epistemic Liberalism will be of interest to students and scholars of contemporary political theory and philosophy, liberal political theory and the politics of culture and identity.
As disciplines, Politics and International Relations remain dominated by ideas drawn from traditions of liberal internationalism and political realism in which political imagination is preoccupied with command and order, rather than with disruption and emancipation. Yet, they have failed to offer adequate answers to why political action is foreclosed in contemporary times. Proposed through a historically informed engagement with seminal thinkers, including Walter Benjamin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and Michel Foucault, and examples from films and contemporary events, Ali Rıza Taşkale presents an original and much needed new perspective to interpret politics in our contemporary societies. He argues that post-politics is a counterrevolutionary logic which aims to create a society without conflict, struggle and radical systemic change. Post-Politics in Context serves as seminal intervention upon the debate over the depoliticised conditions of contemporary neoliberal society as well as functioning as an introduction to the core theoretical frameworks of alternative tradition of social and political thought in a manner that is lacking in current debates about Politics and International Relations.
Democracy promises rule by all, not by the few. Yet, electoral democracies limit decision-making to representatives and have always had a weakness for inequality. How might democracy serve all rather than the few? Democracy Beyond the Nation State: Practicing Equality examines communities that govern their own lives without elites or centralized structures through assemblies and consensus. Rather than claiming equality by abstract rights or citizenship, these groups put equality into practice by reducing wealth and health divides, or landlessness or homelessness, and equalizing workloads. These practices are found in rural India and Brazil, in Buenos Aires, London, and New York, and among the Iroquois, the Zapatistas, and the global networks of La Via Campesina farmers and the World Social Forum. Readable accounts of these horizontal democracies document multiple political frames that prevent democracy from being frozen into entrenched electoral systems producing modern inequalities. Using practice to rewrite political theory, Parker draws on collective politics in Spivak and Derrida and embodied relations from Povinelli and Foucault to show that equal relations are not a utopian dream, not nostalgia, and not impossible. This book provides many practical solutions to inequality. It will be useful to students and scholars of political theory and social movements and to those who are willing to work together for equality.
Dan Webb explores an undervalued topic in the formal discipline of Political Theory (and political science, more broadly): the urban as a level of political analysis and political struggles in urban space. Because the city and urban space is so prominent in other critical disciplines, most notably, geography and sociology, a driving question of the book is: what kind of distinct contribution can political theory make to the already existing critical urban literature? The answer is to be found in what Webb calls the "properly political" approach to understanding political conflict as developed in the work of thinkers like Chantal Mouffe, Jodi Dean, and Slavoj Žižek. This "properly political" analysis is contrasted with and a curative to the predominant "ethical" or "post-political" understanding of the urban found in so much of the geographical and sociological critical urban theory literature. In order to illustrate this primary theoretical argument of the book, Webb suggests that "common property" is the most useful category for conceiving the city as a site of the "properly political." When the city and urban space are framed within this theoretical framework, critical urbanists are provided a powerful tool for understanding urban political struggles, in particular, anti-gentrification movements in the inner city.
The argument that religion provides the only compelling foundation for human rights is both challenging and thought-provoking and answering it is of fundamental importance to the furthering of the human rights agenda. This book establishes an equally compelling non-religious foundation for the idea of human rights, engaging with the writings of many key thinkers in the field, including Michael J. Perry, Alan Gewirth, Ronald Dworkin and Richard Rorty. Ari Kohen draws on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a political consensus of overlapping ideas from cultures and communities around the world that establishes the dignity of humans and argues that this dignity gives rise to collective human rights. In constructing this consensus, we have succeeded in establishing a practical non-religious foundation upon which the idea of human rights can rest. In Defense of Human Rights will be of interest to students and scholars of political theory, philosophy, religious studies and human rights.
More than two hundred years after his birth, and 150 years after the publication of his most famous essay On Liberty, John Stuart Mill remains one of the towering intellectual figures of the Western tradition. This book combines an up-to-date assessment of the philosophical legacy of Mill’s arguments, his complex version of liberalism and his account of the relationship between character and ethical and political commitment. Bringing together key international and interdisciplinary scholars, including Martha Nussbaum and Peter Singer, this book combines the latest insights of Mill scholarship with a long-term appraisal of the ways in which Mill’s work has been received and interpreted from the time of his death in 1873 to today. The book offers compelling insights into Mill’s posthumous fate and reputation; his youthful political and intellectual activism; his views on the formation of character; the development of his thought on logic; his differences from his father and Bentham; his astonishingly prescient, environmentally sensitive and ‘green’ thought; his relation to virtue ethics; his conception of higher pleasures and its relation to his understanding of justice; his feminist thought and its place in contemporary debates and feminist discourses; his defence of free speech and its fundamental significance for his liberalism; and his continued contemporary relevance on a number of major issues. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Politics, Political Theory, Philosophy, History, English, Psychology, and also Cultural Studies, Empire studies, nationalism and ethnicity studies.

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