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  1. A World of Possibilities: The Place of Feasibility in Political Theory.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2020 - Res Publica 26:1-23.
    Although the discussion about feasibility in political theory is still in its infancy, some important progress has been made in the last years to advance our understanding. In this paper, we intend to make a contribution to this growing literature by investigating the proper place of feasibility considerations in political theory. A motivating force behind this study is a suspicion that many presumptions made about feasibility in several current debates—such as that between practice-independence and practice-dependence, ideal and non-ideal theory, and (...)
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  • Principles, Practices and Disciplinary Power Struggles in Political Theory.Janosch Prinz - 2019 - European Journal of Political Theory 19 (2):270-280.
    The Practical Turn in Political Theory sounds like the monograph political theorists have been waiting for – a monograph that identifies ‘practices’ as a uniting theme that runs through several recently influential debates on non-ideal theory, practice dependence, realism and pragmatist theories of legitimacy and democracy, and then discusses the promise and limits of this uniting theme for the future of political theory. However, The Practical Turn is driven by selective portrayals, omissions and misrepresentation, and hence is not a good (...)
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  • Power, Norms and Theory. A Meta-Political Inquiry.Tim Heysse - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (2):163-185.
    Realism criticizes the idea, central to what may be called ‘the priority view’, that philosophy has the task of imposing from the outside general norms of morality or standards of reasonableness on politics understood as the domain of power. According to realism, political philosophy must reveal the specific standards internal to the political practice of handling power appropriately and as it develops in actual circumstances. Framed in those terms, the debate evokes the idea that political power itself is lacking normativity (...)
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  • A Realistic Conception of Politics: Conflict, Order and Political Realism.Carlo Burelli - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-23.
    In this paper I unpack a realistic conception of politics by tightly defining its constitutive features: conflict and order. A conflict emerges when an actor is disposed to impose his/her views against the resistance of others. Conflicts are more problematic than moralists realize because they emerge unilaterally, are potentially violent, impermeable to content-based reason, and unavoidable. Order is then defined as an institutional framework that provides binding collective decisions. Order is deemed necessary because individuals need to cooperate to survive, but (...)
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  • Political Normativity and the Functional Autonomy of Politics.Carlo Burelli - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory:147488512091850.
    This article argues for a new interpretation of the realist claim that politics is autonomous from morality and involves specific political values. First, this article defends an original normative source: functional normativity. Second, it advocates a substantive functional standard: political institutions ought to be assessed by their capacity to select and implement collective decisions. Drawing from the ‘etiological account’ in philosophy of biology, I will argue that functions yield normative standards, which are independent from morality. For example, a ‘good heart’ (...)
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  • Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible.Enzo Rossi - 2019 - Constellations 26 (4):638-652.
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  • Facts, Principles, and (Real) Politics.Enzo Rossi - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):505-520.
    Should our factual understanding of the world influence our normative theorising about it? G.A. Cohen has argued that our ultimate normative principles should not be constrained by facts. Many others have defended or are committed to various versions or subsets of that claim. In this paper I dispute those positions by arguing that, in order to resist the conclusion that ultimate normative principles rest on facts about possibility or conceivability, one has to embrace an unsatisfactory account of how principles generate (...)
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  • The EU's Democratic Deficit in a Realist Key: Multilateral Governance, Popular Sovereignty, and Critical Responsiveness.Jan Pieter Beetz & Enzo Rossi - forthcoming - Transnational Legal Theory.
    This paper provides a realist analysis of the EU's legitimacy. We propose a modification of Bernard Williams' theory of legitimacy, which we term critical responsiveness. For Williams, 'Basic Legitimation Demand + Modernity = Liberalism'. Drawing on that model, we make three claims. (i) The right side of the equation is insufficiently sensitive to popular sovereignty; (ii) The left side of the equation is best thought of as a 'legitimation story': a non-moralised normative account of how to shore up belief in (...)
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  • Political Realism as Ideology Critique.Janosch Prinz & Enzo Rossi - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (3):334-348.
    This paper outlines an account of political realism as a form of ideology critique. Our focus is a defence of the normative edge of this critical-theoretic project against the common charge that there is a problematic trade-off between a theory’s groundedness in facts about the political status quo and its ability to consistently envisage radical departures from the status quo. To overcome that problem we combine insights from three distant corners of the philosophical landscape: theories of legitimacy by Bernard Williams (...)
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  • Realismul în filosofia politică: un moralism deghizat.Eugen Huzum - 2016 - Ideo: Romanian Journal of Philosophical and Social Studies 1 (1):85 - 106.
    The paper is an intervention in the dispute about the moralism of the recent realist trend in political philosophy. It is particularly focused on analysing the debate on this subject between Niklas Erman and Eva Möller (2015a; 2015b) and Robert Jubb and Enzo Rossi (2015a; 2015b). Examining the main arguments of both parties, I argue that realists (i.e., Jubb and Rossi) lost the debate, that realism is, in fact, moralism in disguise, and that its main methodological request – giving up (...)
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  • Stanley on Ideology, or How to De-Moralise Democracy.Rossi Enzo - forthcoming - Global Discourse.
    In *How Propaganda Works* Jason Stanley argues that democratic societies require substantial material equality because inequality causes ideologically flawed belief, which, in turn, make demagogic propaganda more effective. And that is problematic for the quality of democracy. In this brief paper I unpack that argument, in order to make two points: (a) the non-moral argument for equality is promising, but weakened by its reliance on a heavily moralised conception of democracy; (b) that problem may be remedied by whole-heartedly embracing a (...)
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  • Can Modus Vivendi Save Liberalism From Moralism? A Critical Assessment of John Gray's Political Realism.Rossi Enzo - forthcoming - In John Horton, Manon Westphal & Ulrich Willems (eds.), The Political Theory of Modus Vivendi. Dordrecht: Springer.
    I argue that John Gray's modus vivendi-based justification for liberalism is preferable to the more orthodox deontological or teleological justificatory strategies, at least because of the way it can deal with the problem of diversity. But then I show how that is not good news for liberalism, for grounding liberal political authority in a modus vivendi undermines liberalism’s aspiration to occupy a privileged normative position vis-à-vis other kinds of regimes. So modus vivendi can save liberalism from moralism, but at cost (...)
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  • The Moral Standing of Modus Vivendi Arrangements.Fabian Wendt - 2016 - Public Affairs Quarterly 30 (4):351-370.
    While John Rawls made the notion of a “modus vivendi” prominent in political philosophy, he treats modus vivendi arrangements rather short and dismissively. On the other hand, some political theorists like John Gray praise modus vivendi as the only available and legitimate goal of politics. In the article I sketch the outlines of a different, more nuanced approach to modus vivendi arrangements. I argue that the moral standing of modus vivendi arrangements varies, and I try to spell out the factors (...)
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  • Two Conceptions of Legitimacy: A Response to Fabian Wendt’s Moralist Critique of Political Realism.Uğur Aytaç - 2017 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):57-76.
    Fabian Wendt argues that political realism is not capable of explaining how the state’s moral right to rule over its subjects is generated. I believe that Wendt’s criticism is not sound because his position relies on the false implicit assumption that realism and moralism ask the same philosophical questions on state authority. I contend that it is fallacious to evaluate the realist account of legitimacy by the standards of moralism, and vice versa, as these two accounts arrive at different conceptions (...)
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  • Power, Norms and Theory. A Meta-Political Inquiry.Tim6 Heysse - 2015 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-23.
    Realism criticizes the idea, central to what may be called ‘the priority view’, that philosophy has the task of imposing from the outside general norms of morality or standards of reasonableness on politics understood as the domain of power. According to realism, political philosophy must reveal the specific standards internal to the political practice of handling power appropriately and as it develops in actual circumstances. Framed in those terms, the debate evokes the idea that political power itself is lacking normativity (...)
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  • Realism in Normative Political Theory.Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.
    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 (...)
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  • Language and Legitimacy: Is Pragmatist Political Theory Fallacious?Thomas Fossen - 2019 - European Journal of Political Theory 18 (2):293-305.
    Eva Erman and Niklas Möller have recently criticised a range of political theorists for committing a pragmatistic fallacy, illicitly drawing normative conclusions from politically neutral ideas abo...
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  • What Distinguishes the Practice-Dependent Approach to Justice?Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2016 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 42 (1):3-23.
    The practice-dependent approach to justice has received a lot of attention in post-millennium political philosophy. It has been developed in different directions and its normative implications have been criticized, but little attention has been directed to the very distinction between practice-dependence and practice-independence and the question of what theoretically differentiates a practice-dependent account from mainstream practice-independent accounts. The core premises of the practice-dependent approach, proponents argue, are meta-normative and methodological. A key feature is the presumption that a concept of justice (...)
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