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This book continues and revises the ideas of justice as fairness that John Rawls presented in A Theory of Justice but changes its philosophical interpretation in a fundamental way. That previous work assumed what Rawls calls a "well-ordered society," one that is stable and relatively homogenous in its basic moral beliefs and in which there is broad agreement about what constitutes the good life. Yet in modern democratic society a plurality of incompatible and irreconcilable doctrines—religious, philosophical, and moral—coexist within the framework of democratic institutions. Recognizing this as a permanent condition of democracy, Rawls asks how a stable and just society of free and equal citizens can live in concord when divided by reasonable but incompatible doctrines? This edition includes the essay "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited," which outlines Rawls' plans to revise Political Liberalism, which were cut short by his death. "An extraordinary well-reasoned commentary on A Theory of Justice...a decisive turn towards political philosophy." —Times Literary Supplement
In this unique volume, some of today's most eminent political philosophers examine the thought of John Rawls, focusing in particular on his most recent work. These original essays explore diverse issues, including the problem of pluralism, the relationship between constitutive commitment and liberal institutions, just treatment of dissident minorities, the constitutional implications of liberalism, international relations, and the structure of international law. The first comprehensive study of Rawls's recent work, The Idea of Political Liberalism will be indispensable for political philosophers and theorists interested in contemporary political thought.
Leading figures in politics and philosophy revitalize Rawls's prescription for a just society.
Examines whether cultural studies has been too dismissive of the tradition of literary-cultural criticism that preceded it
The leading philosopher of the right, John Gray, criticizes conventional academic thinking and identifies that which is of value in liberalism, looking to traditions of practice rather than theory.
Leading theorists explore the concept of political liberalism.
In contrast to other theories of legal professions, which neglect politics, this volume advances a political theory of lawyers' collective action by demonstrating lawyers' influence on the emergence and development of western political liberalism. Four sociologists and four historians show how lawyers, over several centuries, have been variously committed to the building of liberal political society in France, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States.The introductory chapters, written by the editors, present a theoretical argument that integrates the historical and comparative studies of lawyers' engagement in three areas of liberal politics: the constitution of the moderate state, the institutions of civil society, and the constitution of individual rights. The editors conclude the book with an essay on lawyers' historical involvements in political globalization.This fresh interpretation not only demonstrates the variety of relationships between lawyers and politics, but it delineates issues, concepts, and a theory that helps understand the current action of lawyers in new democracies.
Liberalism is an innovative introductory textbook exploring the dominant discourse of contemporary political theory and the core ideas that underpin it. Despite the ubiquity of liberalism there remains considerable disagreement about what contemporary political liberals believe. This book distinguishes modern political liberalism from earlier manifestations of the concept, yet shows how contemporary liberalism is derived from a long-standing historical tradition that includes John Locke, Immanuel Kant and J.S. Mill. Contemporary liberalism combines ideas from this historical tradition to make a political theory that places at its heart the equal treatment of each person. Paul Kelly provides an overview of the basic building blocks of contemporary liberalism - contractarianism, impartiality, justice and freedom, - and introduces students to the ideas of its key theorists John Rawls, Brian Barry and Ronald Dworkin. He goes on to consider three major challenges facing liberalism today and concludes with a defence of the continuing relevance of political liberalism in the contemporary world.
Previous edition published in 1982.
Widely hailed as one of the most significant works in modern political philosophy, John Rawls's Political Liberalism (1993) defended a powerful vision of society that respects reasonable ways of life, both religious and secular. These core values have never been more critical as anxiety grows over political and religious difference and new restrictions are placed on peaceful protest and individual expression. In her introduction to the volume, Martha Nussbaum discusses the main themes of Political Liberalism and puts them into the context of contemporary philosophical debates.
This book sheds light on the unique aspects of ‘communal liberalism’ in Mme de Staël’s writings and considers her contribution to nineteenth-century French liberal political thought. Focusing notably on the ‘Considérations sur les principaux événements de la Révolution française’, it examines the originality of Stael’s liberal philosophy. Rather than contrasting liberalism with either multiculturalism or republicanism, the book argues that Staël’s communal liberalism challenges the conventions of nineteenth-century political thought, notably through her assertion of the need to institutionalize an organic intermediary connecting the two spheres, an idea later advanced by thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas. Offering a critical reappraisal of Staël’s multifaceted work, this book assesses the political impact of her work, arguing that the political influence of the ‘Considérations’ permeates the liberal historiography of the French Revolution up to the present day.
Having survived the process of modernization and reasserted themselves in public life, religious traditions play an increasingly important public role in shaping and defining social institutions and interactions. This book examines Rawls’s theory of political liberalism in the context of Muslim societies, where religion wields a significant social and political influence. Contrasting a sociological analysis with a theoretical approach, the author explores the political questions brought up by religious individuals, organizations, and minorities, and examines fundamental notions such as neutrality of state, public/private distinction, and individual autonomy. Offering a rich set of conceptual and normative instruments, the author presents new ways to incorporate political liberalism into political discourses and advocating policy prescriptions for the advancement of democracy in Muslim societies. Independent of the focus on Muslim societies, this book makes a significant contribution to the political liberalism debate. As such, it will be of interest not only to students of Islam and the Middle East, but also to those with an interest in political philosophy, democracy, religion and contemporary political theory.
Within the author’s long-term project of updating John Rawls’s paradigm of “political liberalism” to a historical context different from the original one, this paper focuses on how political liberalism can help us understand populism and help liberal democracy survive the populist upsurge. In the first section, political liberalism is argued to be of help in directing our attention to three constitutive aspects of all sorts of populism: the conflation of “the people” with the electorate and the electorate with the nation, the attribution of constituent power to the electorate, and a penchant for so-called “justified intolerance.” In the second section, enfeebled democracies and postliberal democracies are discussed as two distinctly dangerous outcomes of populist contagion. Finally, in the third section the containment of populism is argued to require targeting the socioeconomic factors undergirding the populist upsurge (the rise of inequality and the absolute power of financial markets) and the jettisoning of two dogmas, shared within progressive circles: the stigma on consumption and the mistrust of the law.
Examines the political and cultural history of late-19th and early 20th century Spain and links the development of a liberal tradition and a public sphere to Spain's smooth transition to parliamentary government in the mid-1970s.
Drawing on current work in epistemology and cognitive psychology, this treatise develops a theory of personally justified belief. Building on this, it then advances an account of public justification that is more normative and less "populist" than the views of political liberals.
This book explores the problem of disagreement concerning the treatment of animals in a liberal society. Current laws include an unprecedented concern for animal welfare, yet disagreement remains pervasive. This issue has so far been neglected both in political philosophy and animal ethics. Although starting from disagreement has been the hallmark of many politically liberal theories, none have been devoted to the treatment of animals, and conversely, most theories in animal ethics do not take the disagreement on this issue seriously. Bridging this divide with a change of perspective, Zuolo argues that we should begin from the disagreement on the moral status of animals and the treatment we owe them. Reconstructing the epistemic nature of disagreement about animals, Zuolo proposes a novel form of public justification to find principles acceptable to all. By setting out a unified framework which honours the liberal principles of respect for diversity, a robust liberal political theory capable of dealing with diverse forms of disagreement, and even some forms of radical dissent, is achieved.

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