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  1. ‘Painted Scenes’ or ‘Empty Pageants’? Superficiality and Depth in (Realist) Political Thought.Demetris Tillyris & Derek Edyvane - 2022 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 48 (9):1277-1301.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Volume 48, Issue 9, Page 1277-1301, November 2022. The realist injunction to attend to the ‘realities of politics’ when we do political philosophy, though obviously appropriate, is highly platitudinous. By drawing on the underappreciated realist insights of Isaiah Berlin, Stuart Hampshire and Hannah Arendt, we elaborate a neglected distinction between two antagonistic conceptions of political reality – the realism of surface and the realism of depth – and consider its implications for the recent realist turn. We (...)
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  • Editorial ‘Political Normativity. Critical Essays on the Autonomy of the Political’.Carlo Burelli, Ilaria Cozzaglio, Chiara Destri & Greta Favara - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (3):393-396.
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  • Norms, Evaluations and Ideal and Nonideal Theory.Robert Jubb - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):393-412.
    -/- This essay discusses the relation between ideal theory and two forms of political moralism identified by Bernard Williams, structural and enactment views. It argues that ideal theory, at least in the sense Rawls used that term, only makes sense for structural forms of moralism. These theories see their task as describing the constraints that properly apply to political agents and institutions. As a result, they are primarily concerned with norms that govern action. In contrast, many critiques of ideal theory (...)
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  • Normative Behaviourism and Global Political Principles.Jonathan Floyd - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):152-168.
    This article takes a new idea, ‘normative behaviourism’, and applies it to global political theory, in order to address at least one of the problems we might have in mind when accusing that subject of being too ‘unrealistic’. The core of this idea is that political principles can be justified, not just by patterns in our thinking, and in particular our intuitions and considered judgements, but also by patterns in our behaviour, and in particular acts of insurrection and crime. The (...)
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  • Should Global Political Theory Get Real? An Introduction.Jonathan Floyd - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):93-95.
    This special edition brings together (1) the recent methodological worries of the moralism/realism and ideal/non-ideal theory debates with (2) the soaring ambition of work in international or global political theory, as found in, say, theories of global justice. Contributors are as follows: Chris Bertram, Jonathan Floyd, Aaron James, Terry MacDonald, David Miller, Shmulik Nili, Mathias Risse and Matt Sleat.
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  • La democracia y el valor político de la tolerancia.Fuentes/Caro Eduardo Andres - 2015 - Filosofia Unisinos 16 (2):164-182.
    It is a widespread opinion that toleration, as a political practice, has merely instrumental value. The aim of this paper is to defend, on the contrary, that toleration has political value in itself. In more specific terms, I will claim that it is valuable in itself in virtue of its intrinsic relationship with democracy. Toleration is a constituent of democracy inasmuch as it is necessary for the existence of a democratic administration of political power. I will show that that relation (...)
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  • Against the Status Quo: The Social as a Resource of Critique in Realist Political Theory.Manon Westphal - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-19.
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  • Doing Realist Political Theory: Introduction.Manon Westphal & Ulrich Willems - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-16.
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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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  • The Concept of Legitimacy.N. P. Adams - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
    I argue that legitimacy discourses serve a gatekeeping function. They give practitioners telic standards for riding herd on social practices, ensuring that minimally acceptable versions of the practice are implemented. Such a function is a necessary part of implementing formalized social practices, especially including law. This gatekeeping account shows that political philosophers have misunderstood legitimacy; it is not secondary to justice and only necessary because we cannot agree about justice. Instead, it is a necessary feature of actual human social practices, (...)
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  • Can Real Actions Justify Realist Principles? Normative Behaviourism as a Member of the Realist Family.Jonathan Floyd - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-20.
    If Alison McQueen is right that there is a broad ‘family’ of realist approaches to political theory, then it follows there are several ways of ‘doing’ realism, as illustrated by this collection. Here, I set out one such way, normative behaviourism, by explaining its realist character on four fronts: Its starting point; its values; its ambitions; and its treatment of a shared problem. The argument then considers two key objections to the described approach, both of which affect a range of (...)
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  • On Being a Realist about Migration.Adrian Kreutz - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-12.
    Does political realism have anything to contribute to the debates about migration in normative political theory? Anything well-established ‘moralist’ theories do not already acknowledge, that is? Addressing Jaggar’s and Finlayson’s critical intercessions into contemporary discourse about migration I argue that a political realist approach to the theory of migration faces what I call the ‘surplus challenge’: realists supposedly have no normative surplus over cosmopolitan and nationalist moralist approaches. This nothing-more-to-add narrative is a common argument against the possibility and integrity of (...)
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  • An Ideology Critique of Nonideal Methodology.Matthew Adams - 2021 - European Journal of Political Theory 20 (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. Indeed, a growing number of philosophers adopt a nonideal methodology—which dispenses with ideal theory—because of this ideology critique. I argue, however, that such philosophers are confused about the ultimate dialectical upshot of this critique even if it succeeds. I do so by constructing a parallel—equally plausible—ideology critique of nonideal methodology; (...)
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  • Political Realism and the Relationship Between Ideal and Non-Ideal Theory.Greta Favara - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-22.
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  • Del procedimentalismo al experimentalismo. Una concepción pragmatista de la legitimidad política.Luis Leandro García Valiña - forthcoming - Buenos Aires:
    La tesis central de este trabajo es que la tradicional tensión entre substancia y procedimiento socava las estabilidad de la justificación de la concepción liberal más extendida de la legitimidad (la Democracia Deliberativa). Dicha concepciones enfrentan problemas serios a la hora de articular de manera consistente dos dimensiones que parecen ir naturalmente asociadas a la idea de legitimidad: la dimensión procedimental, vinculada a la equidad del procedimiento, y la dimensión epistémica, asociada a la corrección de los resultados. En este trabajo (...)
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  • EU Migration, Out-of-Work Benefits and Reciprocity: Are Member States Justified in Restricting Access to Welfare Rights?Dimitrios Efthymiou - 2019 - European Journal of Political Theory 20 (3):547-567.
    This article examines whether restrictions on access to welfare rights for EU immigrants are justifiable on grounds of reciprocity. Recently political theorists have supported some robust restricti...
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  • Social Freedom as Ideology.Karen Ng - 2018 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 45 (7):795-818.
    This article explores objections made against ideal theorizing in political philosophy by two prominent contemporary critical theorists: Axel Honneth and Charles Mills. In Freedom’s Right, Honneth...
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  • 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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  • Realism and Political Normativity.Matt Sleat - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (3):465-478.
    A prevailing understanding of realism, chiefly among its critics, casts realists as those who seek a ‘distinctively political normativity’, where this is interpreted as meaning nonmoral in kind. Moralists, on this account, are those who reject this and believe that political normativity remains moral. Critics have then focused much of their attention on demonstrating that the search for a nonmoral political normativity is doomed to fail which, if right, would then seem to fatally undermine the realist endeavour. This paper makes (...)
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  • Transformative Contextual Realism.Manon Westphal - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (3):479-497.
    Realist political theory is often confronted with the objection that it is biased towards the status quo. Although this criticism overlooks the fact that realist political theories contain various resources for critique, a realist approach that is strong in status quo critique and contributes, constructively, to the theorising of alternatives to the status quo is a desideratum. The article argues that contextual realism, which sources its normativity from particular contexts, harbours an underexploited potential to establish such a form of political (...)
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  • Feasibility Beyond Non-Ideal Theory: A Realist Proposal.Ilaria Cozzaglio & Greta Favara - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (3):417-432.
    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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  • Distinctively Political Normativity in Political Realism: Unattractive or Redundant.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (3):433-447.
    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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  • Political Realism as Methods Not Metaethics.Jonathan Leader Maynard - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (3):449-463.
    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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  • Taking Rulers' Interests Seriously: The Case for Realist Theories of Legitimacy.Ben Cross - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory:147488512211143.
    In this article I defend a new argument against moralist theories of legitimacy and in favour of realist theories. Moralist theories, I argue, are vulnerable to ideological and wishful thinking bec...
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  • Political Normativity and the Functional Autonomy of Politics.Carlo Burelli - 2020 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (4):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...
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  • Political Normativity and the Functional Autonomy of Politics.Carlo Burelli - 2020 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (4):627-649.
    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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  • Revisiting Kumm's Cosmopolitan Constitutionalism.Maximilian Fenner - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):1-24.
    In this paper, I revisit Mattias Kumm's work on a ‘cosmopolitan conception of law’. I make two claims: First, I claim that although some criticism can be resisted by Kumm, under closer methodological scrutiny there are flaws in his theory. Second, I claim that these flaws challenge Kumm's approach when reading the Charter of the United Nations (UN Charter) as a ‘global constitution’. This also has pertinent practical implications for the functioning of the United Nations. This contribution does not take (...)
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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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  • EU Immigration, Welfare Rights and Populism: A Normative Appraisal of Welfare Populism.Dimitrios E. Efthymiou - 2020 - Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 12 (2):161-188.
    Populists in the EU often call for restrictions on EU immigrants’ access to welfare rights. These calls are often demagogic and parochial. This paper aims to show what exactly is both distinct and problematic with these populist calls from a normative point of view while not necessarily reducible to demagogy and parochialism. The overall aim of the paper is not to argue that all populists call for such restrictions nor to claim that all calls for such restrictions are populist. The (...)
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  • Ideální konsenzus, reálná diverzita a výzva veřejného ospravedlnění: k limitům idealizace v liberální politické teorii [Ideal Consensus, Real Diversity, and the Challenge of Public Justification: On the Limits of Idealisation in Liberal Political Theory].Matouš Mencl & Pavel Dufek - 2021 - Acta Politologica 2 (13):49–70.
    The paper deals with the methodological clash between idealism and anti-idealism in political philosophy, and highlights its importance for public reason (PR) and public justification (PJ) theorising. Upon reviewing the broader context which harks back to Rawls’s notion of a realistic utopia, we focus on two major recent contributions to the debate in the work of David Estlund (the prototypical utopian) and Gerald Gaus (the cautious anti-utopian). While Estlund presents a powerful case on behalf of ideal theorising, claiming that motivational (...)
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  • Realism, Utopianism, and Radical Values.Paul Raekstad - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):145-168.
    One of the more debated topics in the recent realist literature concerns the compatibility of realism and utopianism. Perhaps the greatest challenge to utopian political thought comes from Bernard Williams' realism, which argues, among other things, that political values should be subject to what he calls the ‘realism constraint’, which rules out utopian arguments based on values which cannot be offered by the state as unrealistic and therefore inadmissible. This article challenges that conclusion in two ways. First, it argues that (...)
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  • Capable and Culpable? The United States, RtoP, and Refugee Responsibility-Sharing.Alise Coen - 2017 - Ethics and International Affairs 31 (1):71-92.
    Facilitating access to asylum and other forms of refugee protection for the millions displaced by mass atrocities in Syria and Iraq is essential to the implementation of the international norm of the Responsibility to Protect. This responsibility, however, has been disproportionately shouldered by several states in the Middle East and Europe. This article explores the challenges associated with refugee responsibility-sharing in the context of RtoP and draws on work in climate justice and political realism to articulate a framework for integrating (...)
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  • What is Circumstantial About Justice?David Estlund - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):292-311.
    :Does social justice lose all application in the condition in which people are morally flawless? The answer, I will argue, is that it does not — justice might still have application. This is one lesson of my broader thesis in this paper, that there is a variety of conditions we would all regard as highly idealistic and unrealistic which are, nevertheless, not beyond justice. The idea of “circumstances of justice” developed especially by Hume and Rawls may seem to point in (...)
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  • Do Automated Vehicles Face Moral Dilemmas? A Plea for a Political Approach.Javier Rodríguez-Alcázar, Lilian Bermejo-Luque & Alberto Molina-Pérez - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34:811-832.
    How should automated vehicles react in emergency circumstances? Most research projects and scientific literature deal with this question from a moral perspective. In particular, it is customary to treat emergencies involving AVs as instances of moral dilemmas and to use the trolley problem as a framework to address such alleged dilemmas. Some critics have pointed out some shortcomings of this strategy and have urged to focus on mundane traffic situations instead of trolley cases involving AVs. Besides, these authors rightly point (...)
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  • Hobbes and Political Realism.Robin Douglass - 2020 - European Journal of Political Theory 19 (2):250-269.
    Thomas Hobbes has recently been cast as one of the forefathers of political realism. This article evaluates his place in the realist tradition by focusing on three key themes: the priority of legitimacy over justice, the relation between ethics and politics, and the place of imagination in politics. The thread uniting these themes is the importance Hobbes placed on achieving a moral consensus around peaceful coexistence, a point which distances him from realists who view the two as competing goals of (...)
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  • The Moving Global Everest: A New Challenge to Global Ideal Theory as a Necessary Compass.Shmuel Nili - 2018 - European Journal of Political Theory 17 (1):87-108.
    I present a new challenge to the Rawlsian insistence on ideal theory as a compass orienting concrete policy choices. My challenge, focusing on global politics, consists of three claims. First, I contend that our global ideal can become more ambitious over time. Second, I argue that Rawlsian ideal theory’s level of ambition might change because of concrete policy choices, responding to moral failures which can be identified and resolved without ideal theory. Third, I argue that we currently face such potentially (...)
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  • Fittingness: A User’s Guide.Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland - forthcoming - In Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland (eds.), Fittingness. Oxford University Press.
    The chapter introduces and characterizes the notion of fittingness. It charts the history of the relation and its relevance to contemporary debates in normative and metanormative philosophy and proceeds to survey issues to do with fittingness covered in the volume’s chapters, including the nature and epistemology of fittingness, the relations between fittingness and reasons, the normativity of fittingness, fittingness and value theory, and the role of fittingness in theorizing about responsibility. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of issues to (...)
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  • Mentalizing Animals: Implications for Moral Psychology and Animal Ethics.T. J. Kasperbauer - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):465-484.
    Ethicists have tended to treat the psychology of attributing mental states to animals as an entirely separate issue from the moral importance of animals’ mental states. In this paper I bring these two issues together. I argue for two theses, one descriptive and one normative. The descriptive thesis holds that ordinary human agents use what are generally called phenomenal mental states to assign moral considerability to animals. I examine recent empirical research on the attribution of phenomenal states and agential states (...)
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  • Facts, Principles, and Global Justice: Does the ‘Real World’ Matter?Johann Go - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-21.
    The world is undeniably full of injustice. Many feel that much political philosophy is practically impotent and engaged instead in overly abstract theorising insufficiently sensitive to the realities of the world. One response to this concern is David Miller’s influential model of evidence-based political philosophy, which claims to be sensitive to empirical evidence from the social sciences, takes seriously people’s opinions, and defends the role of facts in grounding normative principles. Using various examples from the field of global justice, one (...)
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  • The General Theory of Second Best Is More General Than You Think.David Wiens - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (5):1-26.
    Lipsey and Lancaster's "general theory of second best" is widely thought to have significant implications for applied theorizing about the institutions and policies that most effectively implement abstract normative principles. It is also widely thought to have little significance for theorizing about which abstract normative principles we ought to implement. Contrary to this conventional wisdom, I show how the second-best theorem can be extended to myriad domains beyond applied normative theorizing, and in particular to more abstract theorizing about the normative (...)
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  • The Value of Global Justice: Realism and Moralism.Matt Sleat - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):169-184.
    It is a noticeable feature of the contemporary revival of interest in realist political thought that it has very much hesitated from exploring its implications for international political theory. This is interesting both because realism is one of the dominant intellectual traditions in international relations, but also as much of the recent debates surrounding global justice have engaged with themes that are at least germane to those of realism. This article will therefore try and extend some of the themes of (...)
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  • Realism in the Ethics of Immigration.James S. Pearson - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145372210796.
    The ethics of immigration is currently marked by a division between realists and idealists. The idealists generally focus on formulating morally ideal immigration policies. The realists, however, tend to dismiss these ideals as far-fetched and infeasible. In contrast to the idealists, the realists seek to resolve pressing practical issues relating to immigration, principally by advancing what they consider to be actionable policy recommendations. In this article, I take issue with this conception of realism. I begin by surveying the way in (...)
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  • Review: Jeremy Waldron’s Political Political Theory. [REVIEW]David Runciman - 2016 - European Journal of Political Theory 18 (3):437-446.
    This collection seeks to ground political theory in the study of institutions, particularly the constitutional relationship between different branches of government. It makes the case that ‘constitutionalism’ has become a thin doctrine of political restraint. Waldron wants to identify a fuller conceptual understanding of how the functions of government can be empowered and articulated. In doing so, he sets out a position that is distinct from both moralism and realism in contemporary political theory. I explore how well the later distinction (...)
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  • How ‘Realistic’ Should Global Political Theory Be? Some Reflections on the Debate so Far.David Miller - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):217-233.
    This article reviews the recent debate on realism in political theory and examines its implications for global political theory. It distinguishes two versions of realism – contrasted, respectively, with political utopianism and political moralism – and argues that the second of these realisms fails to be sufficiently realistic by the standards of the first. In particular, it exaggerates the extent of political disagreement within domestic societies and underestimates the unifying force of national identities. In international relations, by contrast, disagreement over (...)
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  • Distinctively Political Normativity in Political Theory.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (6):e12835.
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 17, Issue 6, June 2022.
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  • Institutional Facts and Principles of Global Political Legitimacy.Terry Macdonald - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):134-151.
    How should the content and justification of action-guiding normative ‘principles’ in political life be responsive to social ‘facts’? In this article, I answer this question by sketching a contextualist methodology for identifying and justifying principles for guiding international institutional action, which is based on an original account of the regulative role and conceptual structure of principles of political legitimacy. I develop my argument for this approach in three steps. First, I argue that a special non-utopian category of normative political principles (...)
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  • Realism, Moralism, Models and Institutions.Christopher Bertram - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):185-199.
    This article distinguishes between three methodologies for thinking about justice: principle-based, model-based and ‘realist’, concentrating mainly on the differences between the first two. Both model-based and realist approaches pride themselves on taking institutions seriously and argue that institutions make a fundamental difference to justice. This claim is at best not proven, and it may be possible to account for the difference that institutions make to what justice requires while retaining a non-institutional account of what justice is.
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  • Distinctively Political Normativity in Political Theory.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (6):e12835.
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 17, Issue 6, June 2022.
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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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  • Structural Injustice and the Tyranny of Scales.Kirun Sankaran - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (5):445-472.
    What features of structural injustice distinguish it from mere collections of injustices committed by individuals? I argue that the standard model of moral judgment that centers agents and actions fails to adequately articulate what’s gone wrong in cases of structural injustice. It fails because features of the social world that arise only at large scale are normatively salient, but unaccounted for by the standard model. I illustrate these features with historical examples of normatively-different outcomes driven by institutional structure rather, holding (...)
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