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  1. Political Realism and Epistemic Constraints.Uğur Aytaç - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
    This article argues that Bernard Williams’ Critical Theory Principle (CTP) is in tension with his realist commitments, i.e., deriving political norms from practices that are inherent to political life. The Williamsian theory of legitimate state power is based on the central importance of the distinction between political rule and domination. Further, Williams supplements the normative force of his theory with the CTP, i.e., the principle that acceptance of a justification regarding power relations ought not to be created by the very (...)
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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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  • From Moral Principles to Political Judgments: The Case for Pragmatic Idealism.Pierre-Étienne Vandamme - 2021 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 8 (2):261-283.
    Political judgments usually combine a normative principle or intuition with an appreciation of empirical facts regarding the achievability of different options and their potential consequences. The interesting question dividing partisans of political idealism and realism is whether these kinds of considerations should be integrated into the normative principles themselves or considered apart. At first sight, if a theorist is concerned with guiding political judgments, non-ideal or realist theorizing can seem more attractive. In this article, however, I argue that ideal theorizing (...)
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  • An Ideology Critique of Nonideal Methodology.Matthew Adams - 2019 - European Journal of Political Theory (4).
    Ideal theory has been extensively contested on the grounds that it is ideology: namely, that it performs the distorting social role of reifying and enforcing unjust features of the status quo. Inde...
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  • Can Modus Vivendi Save Liberalism From Moralism? A Critical Assessment of John Gray’s Political Realism.Rossi Enzo - 2018 - In John Horton, Manon Westphal & Ulrich Willems (eds.), The Political Theory of Modus Vivendi. Dordrecht: Springer Verlag. pp. 95-109.
    This chapter assesses John Gray’s modus vivendi-based justification for liberalism. I argue that his approach 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 (...)
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  • Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible.Enzo Rossi - 2019 - Constellations 26 (4):638-652.
    Political realism is characterised by fidelity to the facts of politics and a refusal to derive political judgments from pre- political moral commitments. Even when they are not taken to make normative theorising impossible or futile, those characteristics are often thought to engender a conservative slant, or at least a tendency to prefer incremental reformism to radicalism. I resist those claims by distinguishing between three variants of realism—ordorealism, contextual realism, and radical realism—and contrasting them with both non-ideal theory and utopianism. (...)
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  • Moralizing About the White Working Class 'Problem' in Appalachia and Beyond.Andy Scerri - 2019 - Appalachian Studies 2 (25):205-221.
    Since the global financial meltdown in 2008, moralizing stereo- types of white working-class citizens have proliferated across the United States, the United Kingdom, Australasia, and Europe. Both conservatives and liberals use concepts such as the Appa- lachian hillbilly, the council estate-dwelling chav, and the outer- suburban bogan to allege white working-class citizens’ failure to adapt to the demands of the globalizing political economy. As recent commentators on the Appalachia “problem” note, such moralizing obscures more than it explains, and does so (...)
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  • Feasibility beyond Non-ideal Theory: a Realist Proposal.Ilaria Cozzaglio & Greta Favara - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-16.
    Some realists in political theory deny that the notion of feasibility has any place in realist theory, while others claim that feasibility constraints are essential elements of realist normative theorising. But none have so far clarified what exactly they are referring to when thinking of feasibility and political realism together. In this article, we develop a conception of the realist feasibility frontier based on an appraisal of how political realism should be distinguished from non-ideal theories. In this realist framework, political (...)
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  • Political Realism as Methods Not Metaethics.Jonathan Leader Maynard - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
    This paper makes the case for a revision of contemporary forms of political realism in political theory. I argue that contemporary realists have gone awry in increasingly centring their approach around a metaethical claim: that political theory should be rooted in a political form of normativity that is distinct from moral normativity. Several critics of realism have argued that this claim is unconvincing. But I suggest that it is also a counterintuitive starting point for realism, and one unnecessary to avoid (...)
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  • Distinctively Political Normativity in Political Realism: Unattractive or Redundant.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
    Political realists’ rejection of the so-called ‘ethics first’ approach of political moralists, has raised concerns about their own source of normativity. Some realists have responded to such concerns by theorizing a distinctively political normativity. According to this view, politics is seen as an autonomous, independent domain with its own evaluative standards. Therefore, it is in this source, rather than in some moral values ‘outside’ of this domain, that normative justification should be sought when theorizing justice, democracy, political legitimacy, and the (...)
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  • Realism Versus Constructivism in Their Competition for Dominance in Politics: The Case of Russia.Alexey Alyushin & Helena Knyazeva - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (3):345-361.
    This article focuses on the general theoretical issue of realism versus constructivism in politics, with a case of the present-day Russia as the main and most telling example. We present four assertions that we are going to defend. First, we claim that in the sphere of international relations, political realism of the offensive type, after decades of more tempered USA–USSR relations, is again challenging its opponent: political constructivism. Second, political realism is winning in the sphere of domestic politics and policy (...)
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  • Can Realism Save Us From Populism? Rousseau in the Digital Age.Ilaria Cozzaglio - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.
    In 2016, the Five Stars Movement, one of the parties currently in power in Italy, launched the ‘Rousseau platform’. This is a platform meant to enhance direct democracy, transparency and the real participation of the people in the making of laws, policies and political proposals. Although ennobled with the name of Rousseau, the 5SM’s redemptive promise has been strongly criticised in the public sphere for being irresponsible and ideological. Political realism, I will argue, can perform both a diagnostic and a (...)
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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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  • Understanding Religion, Governing Religion: A Realist Perspective.Enzo Rossi - 2017 - In Cecile Laborde & Aurelia Bardon (eds.), Religion in Liberal Political Philosophy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Cécile Laborde has argued that the freedom we think of as ‘freedom of religion’ should be understood as a bundle of separate and relatively independent freedoms. I criticise that approach by pointing out that it is insufficiently sensitive to facts about the sorts of entities that liberal states are. I argue that states have good reasons to mould phenomena such as religion into easily governable monoliths. If this is a problem from the normative point of view, it is not due (...)
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  • Populism, Cosmopolitanism, or Democratic Realism?Christopher Meckstroth - 2020 - Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 12 (2):94-116.
    This article argues that populism, cosmopolitanism, and calls for global justice should be understood not as theoretical positions but as appeals to different segments of democratic electorates with the aim of assembling winning political coalitions. This view is called democratic realism: it considers political competition in democracies from a perspective that is realist in the sense that it focuses not first on the content of competing political claims but on the relationships among different components of the coalitions they work to (...)
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  • Being Realistic About Neoliberalism.Andrew Norris - 2020 - Constellations 27 (1):63-78.
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  • Differences of Difference.David Jenkins - 2021 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 24 (2):206-229.
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  • Instability and Modus Vivendi.Nat Rutherford - 2021 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 24 (2):157-178.
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  • Political Realism as Reformist Conservatism.Greta Favara - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • The Radical Realist Critique of Rawls: A Reconstruction and Response.Paul Raekstad - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-23.
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  • Review Article: Forget Populism?Andy Scerri - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-24.
    Contemporary ‘crisis studies’ seek to advance democracy by emphasizing the threats that technocracy and populism pose to a specific form of it, liberal- democracy. Crisis studies argue that, since the 1970s, technocratic policymak- ing has deepened economic inequality. This has fostered citizenly anger, which populists exploit. Four well-known iterations of this argument are evaluated using a political realist lens. Political realism emphasizes the histor- ical context of politics, actors’ possible motives, and a normative orientation derived from the political order itself, (...)
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  • Impure Theorizing in an Imperfect World: Politics, Utopophobia and Critical Theory in Geuss’s Realism.Peter J. Verovšek - 2018 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 45 (3):265-283.
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  • Radicalizing Realist Legitimacy.Ben Cross - 2019 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 46 (4):369-389.
    Several critics of realist theories of political legitimacy have alleged that it possesses a problematic bias towards the status quo. This bias is thought to be reflected in the way in which these...
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  • Can Political Realism Be Action-Guiding?Luke Ulaş - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-26.
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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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  • Review of Raymond Geuss, Reality and Its Dreams. [REVIEW]Enzo Rossi - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Review.
    In this review I try and show the ways in which Geuss’ new work may advance the (radical) realist programme. The main contribution in the new essays, as I see it, is the emphasis on the counterintuitively transformative potential of a realist approach, as opposed to the false promise of highly moralised approaches. I also highlight some open questions about Geuss’ realism, primarily to do with his contextualism and with the role of feasibility constraints.
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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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  • Differences of Difference.David Jenkins - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-24.
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  • “What is to Be Done” When There is Nothing to Do?: Realism and Political Inequality.Caleb R. Miller - 2018 - Constellations 25 (4):602-613.
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