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The Liberalism of Fear

In Nancy L. Rosenblum (ed.), Liberalism and the Moral Life (1989)

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  1. Contributing to Historical-Structural Injustice via Morally Wrong Acts.Jennifer M. Page - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (5):1197-1211.
    Alasia Nuti’s important recent book, Injustice and the Reproduction of History: Structural Inequalities, Gender and Redress, makes many persuasive interventions. Nuti shows how structural injustice theory is enriched by being explicitly historical; in theorizing historical-structural injustice, she lays bare the mechanisms of how the injustices of history reproduce themselves. For Nuti, historical-structural patterns are not only shaped by habitual behaviors that are or appear to be morally permissible, but also by individual wrongdoing and wrongdoing by powerful group agents like states. (...)
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  • Lefort and the Problem of Democratic Citizenship.Mark Blackell - 2006 - Thesis Eleven 87 (1):51-62.
    To interpret the possibilities of a Lefort-inspired theory of citizenship requires first that we depart from traditional liberal and republican theories of citizenship that conceive of the citizen's attachment to the political order in terms of interest or virtue. A Lefort-inspired theory of citizenship must also reconfigure the object of citizen attachment from an ‘empty place’ of power to an ‘absent-presence’. The nature of modern democratic citizenship is framed in terms of ambivalence as a symptom of the symbolic order of (...)
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  • The Liberalism of Fear and the Counterrevolutionary Project: Reply to Catherine Lu.Robert Meister - 2002 - Ethics and International Affairs 16 (2):118-123.
    "While Lu invokes Shklar's 'liberalism of fear' as a 'transcendence' of the politics of friend and foe, I regard it as an attempt to give liberalism political purchase by identifying its true foe, those whose political convictions make them insensitive to cruelty, and especially to physical cruelty.".
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  • Human Rights and the Politics of Victimhood.Robert Meister - 2002 - Ethics and International Affairs 16 (2):91-108.
    Meister argues for a renewal of the politics of victim and beneficiary that avoids moral pitfalls of the revolutionary project. These pitfalls inhere in a politics of victimhood.
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  • Toleration, a Political or Moral Question?Bernard Williams - 1996 - Diogenes 44 (176):35-48.
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  • Neutralism, Perfectionism and Respect for Persons.Michael Schefczyk - 2012 - .
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  • The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering (Open Access).Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Why did such highly abstract ideas as truth, knowledge, or justice become so important to us? What was the point of coming to think in these terms? This book presents a philosophical method designed to answer such questions: the method of pragmatic genealogy. Pragmatic genealogies are partly fictional, partly historical narratives exploring what might have driven us to develop certain ideas in order to discover what these do for us. The book uncovers an under-appreciated tradition of pragmatic genealogy which cuts (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering and the Politics of Implementation.Matthieu Queloz & Friedemann Bieber - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Conceptual engineering is thought to face an ‘implementation challenge’: the challenge of securing uptake of engineered concepts. But is the fact that implementation is challenging really a defect to be overcome? What kind of picture of political life would be implied by making engineering easy to implement? We contend that the ambition to obviate the implementation challenge goes against the very idea of liberal democratic politics. On the picture we draw, the implementation challenge can be overcome by institutionalizing control over (...)
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  • In the Aftermath of Critique We Are Not in Epistemic Free Fall: Human Rights, the Subaltern Subject, and Non-Liberal Search for Freedom and Happiness.Ratna Kapur - 2014 - Law and Critique 25 (1):25-45.
    The article challenges the claim that human rights, which have constituted one of the central tools by which to establish the truth claims of modernity, can produce freedom and meaningful happiness through the acquisition of more rights and more equality. Third World, postcolonial and feminist legal scholars have challenged the accuracy of this claim, amongst others. The critiques expose the discursive operations of human rights as a governance project primarily concerned with ordering the lives of non-European peoples, rather than a (...)
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  • Post-Marxism and the Politics of Human Rights: Lefort, Badiou, Agamben, Rancière.Daniel McLoughlin - 2016 - Law and Critique 27 (3):303-321.
    Recent histories of human rights have shown that the turn to human rights as a form of politics occurred as a placeholder for utopian energies at the end of history, coinciding with a retreat of the organised left, the abandonment of the theme of revolution, and the pluralisation of political struggles. This essay examines the way that radical continental theory has responded to the political hegemony of human rights by focusing on ‘post-Marxist’ thought. Examining the work of four influential critics (...)
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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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  • Political Realism and Dirty Hands: Value Pluralism, Moral Conflict and Public Ethics.Demetris Tillyris - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1579-1602.
    This paper draws on the underappreciated realist thought of Isaiah Berlin, Stuart Hampshire and Judith Shklar, rehearses their critique of moralism and extends it to a position which seems far from obvious a target: the dirty hands thesis, which is mostly owed to Michael Walzer, and which a number of contemporary realists have recently appealed to in their endeavour to challenge moralism and/or tackle the insufficiently addressed question of what a more affirmative, realist public ethic might involve. In illustrating that (...)
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  • Reflections on a Crisis: Political Disenchantment, Moral Desolation, and Political Integrity.Demetris Tillyris - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (1):109-131.
    Declining levels of political trust and voter turnout, the shift towards populist politics marked by appeals to ‘the people’ and a rejection of ‘politics-as-usual’, are just some of the commonly cited manifestations of our culture of political disaffection. Democratic politics, it is argued, is in crisis. Whilst considerable energy has been expended on the task of lamenting the status of our politics and pondering over recommendations to tackle this perceived crisis, amid this raft of complaints and solutions lurks confusion. This (...)
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  • Redeeming Rorty’s Private–Public Distinction.Tracy Llanera - 2016 - Contemporary Pragmatism 13 (3):319-340.
    Rorty uses the private–public distinction as a conceptual tool to uphold the ideal of self–creation (Romanticism) simultaneously to the ideal of solidarity (Enlightenment liberalism). The difficulty of accommodating these two apparently opposing ideals has led Rorty to make inconsistent and contradictory claims about the private–public distinction. This article suggests a way of easing the tension that exists around Rorty’s formulations of the distinction. It does so by turning to the thematic of “self–enlargement” to be found in Rorty’s later writings. By (...)
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  • Rethinking Nihilism: Rorty Vs Taylor, Dreyfus and Kelly.Tracy Llanera - 2016 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 42 (9):937-950.
    The idea of nihilism continues to figure prominently in philosophical debates about the problems of modernity. The aim of this article is to consider how Richard Rorty’s work might advance these debates. The article begins with a discussion of the problem of nihilism as it appears in the recent exchange between Charles Taylor, Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Kelly. It then brings Rorty into the conversation by considering his reflections on egotism and his proposed antidote to it: self-enlargement. I propose that (...)
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  • Fear and Freedom On `Cold War Liberalism'.Jan-Werner Müller - 2008 - European Journal of Political Theory 7 (1):45-64.
    This article identifies a distinct strand of 20th-century liberal thought that was exemplified by Isaiah Berlin, Raymond Aron and, to a lesser extent, Karl Popper. I offer a stylized account of their common ideas and shared political sensibility, and argue that their primarily negative liberalism was a variety of what Judith Shklar called the `liberalism of fear' — which put the imperative to avoid cruelty and atrocity first. All three founded their liberalism on a `politics of knowledge' that was directed (...)
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  • The Unnoticed Monism of Judith Shklar’s Liberalism of Fear.Allyn Fives - 2020 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 46 (1):45-63.
    Judith Shklar’s liberalism of fear, a political and philosophical standpoint that emerges in her mature work, has ostensibly two defining characteristics. It is a sceptical approach that puts cruelty first among the vices. For that reason, it is considered to be both set apart from mainstream liberalism, in particular the liberalism of J. S. Mill and John Rawls, but also an important source of influence for political realists and nonideal theorists. However, I argue here that, in putting cruelty first among (...)
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  • Conflict in Political Liberalism: Judith Shklar’s Liberalism of Fear.Katharina Kaufmann - 2020 - Res Publica 26 (4):577-595.
    Realists and non-ideal theorists currently criticise Rawlsian mainstream liberalism for its inability to address injustice and political conflict, as a result of the subordination of political philosophy to moral theory, as well as an idealising and abstract methodology. Seeing that liberalism emerged as a theory for the protection of the individual from conflict and injustice, these criticisms aim at the very core of liberalism as a theory of the political and therefore deserve close analysis. I will defend Judith N. Shklar’s (...)
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  • ON MERCY, by Malcolm Bull.Christopher Brooke - forthcoming - Mind:egaa032.
    _ On Mercy _, by BullMalcolm. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019. Pp. xii + 191.
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  • Response to Critics.Ben Berger - 2013 - Social Philosophy Today 29:177-191.
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  • Afterword: Liberal Nationalism Both Cosmopolitan and Rooted.Jocelyne Couture, Kai Nielsen & Michel Seymour - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 22:579-662.
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  • Barbarous Nationalism and the Liberal International Order: Reflections on the ‘Is,’ the ‘Ought,’ and the ‘Can’.Carol A. L. Prager - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 22:439-462.
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  • Political Integrity and Dirty Hands: Compromise and the Ambiguities of Betrayal.Demetris Tillyris - 2017 - Res Publica 23 (4):475-494.
    The claim that democratic politics is the art of compromise is a platitude but we seem allergic to compromise in politics when it happens. This essay explores this paradox. Taking my cue from Machiavelli’s claim that there exists a rift between a morally admirable and a virtuous political life, I argue that: a ‘compromising disposition’ is an ambiguous virtue—something which is politically expedient but not necessarily morally admirable; whilst uncongenial to moral integrity, a ‘compromising disposition’ constitutes an essential aspect of (...)
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  • On Universalism: Communitarians, Rorty, and “Liberal Metaphysicians”.Andrew Jason Cohen - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):39-75.
    It is often claimed that liberalism is falsely and perniciously universalist. I take this charge seriously, exploring three positions: the communitarians’, Rorty’s, and that of “comprehensive” liberalism. After explaining why universalism is thought impossible, I examine the communitarian view that value is determined within communities and argue that it results in a form of relativism that is unacceptable. I next discuss Richard Rorty’s liberal acceptance of “conventionalism” and explain how, despite his rejection of universalism, Rorty remains a liberal. I then (...)
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  • Sexual Desire and Structural Injustice.Tom O’Shea - 2020 - Journal of Social Philosophy.
    Is it unjust that some people are less sexually desired than others? We might have sympathy for the sexually undesired but supposing they suffer an outright injustice can seem absurd. Mere disadvantage is not injustice. However, I argue that political injustices can sometimes arise from the distribution and character of our sexual desires, and that we can be held responsible for correcting these injustices. I draw on a conception of structural injustice to diagnose unjust patterns of sexual attraction, which are (...)
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  • Illiberal Socialism.Robert S. Taylor - 2014 - Social Theory and Practice 40 (3):433-460.
    Is “liberal socialism” an oxymoron? Not quite, but I will demonstrate here that it is a much more unstable and uncommon hybrid than scholars had previously thought and that almost all liberals should reject socialism, even in its most attractive form. More specifically, I will show that three leading varieties of liberalism—neutralist, plural-perfectionist, and deliberative-democratic—are incompatible with even a moderate form of socialism, viz., associational market socialism. My paper will also cast grave doubt on Rawls’s belief that justice as fairness (...)
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  • Toward an Augustinian Liberalism.Paul J. Weithman - 1991 - Faith and Philosophy 8 (4):461-480.
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  • Defending Liberalism Against the Anomie Challenge.Andrew J. Cohen - 2004 - Social Theory and Practice 30 (3):391-427.
    Some claim that liberalism’s neutrality toward the Good encourages anomie, thereby disallowing social confirmation of beliefs, leaving the individual with an uncertainty about judgments that is opposed to confidence and self-respect. This is the “anomie challenge.” I begin by discussing toleration and neutrality and motivating the problem. I then look at responses to the challenge by liberal pluralists and liberalism’s critics. After dismissing both, I argue that the right to choose is the good to be advocated and that it allows (...)
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  • Justice: A Role-Immersion Game for Teaching Political Philosophy.Noel Martin, Matthew Draper & Andy Lamey - 2020 - Teaching Philosophy 43 (3):281-308.
    We created Justice: The Game, an educational, role-immersion game designed to be used in philosophy courses. We seek to describe Justice in sufficent detail so that it is understandable to readers not already familiar with role-immersion pedagogy. We hope some instructors will be sufficiently interested in using the game. In addition to describing the game we also evaluate it, thereby highlighting the pedagogical potential of role-immersion games designed to teach political philosophy. We analyze the game by drawing on our observations (...)
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  • Political Realism and International Relations.Duncan Bell - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (2):e12403.
    In this article, I explore recent work on realist political theory and international politics. I discuss how scholarship on the topic emanates from two different fields—International Relations and political philosophy—and argue that there is a good case for greater engagement between them. I open by delineating various kinds of realism, showing that the term covers a wide variety of methodological and political approaches. In particular, I suggest, it is important to recognize the difference between liberal and radical approaches. The remainder (...)
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  • Il realismo critico. Un programma di ricerca a partire da Danilo Zolo.Elisa Orrù - 2021 - Jura Gentium 18 (1):63-86.
    This essay focuses on the approach to the study of political and legal phenomena that can be defined “critical realism” and with its apparent paradox. By “critical realism” I understand a way of looking at political and legal phenomena that combines a blunt analysis of social reality with a transformative, non-resigned critical attitude towards the status quo. I argue that this is the approach that inspired Danilo Zolo’s lifelong reflections on politics and law. The same approach, moreover, is in my (...)
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  • Mass Hypnoses: The Rise of the Far Right From an Adornian and Freudian Perspective.Claudia Leeb - 2018 - Berlin Journal of Critical Theory 2 (3):59-82.
    Why did millions of people respond to the failures of neoliberal capitalism by voting in leaders that further undermine their existence? In this article, I combine the insights of the early Frankfurt School Critical Theory (Theodor W. Adorno) with the insights of psychoanalytic theory (Sigmund Freud) to show how economic factors interact with psychological factors in the rise of the far-right today. The propaganda techniques used by far-right leaders create conditions in masses that are akin to hypnoses. Such techniques induce (...)
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  • Participation and Legitimacy in Chinese Environmental Politics: A Realist Approach.Ben Cross - 2021 - Journal of Global Ethics 17 (1):55-70.
    Recent empirical literature suggests that some of the most prominent environmental policies that the Chinese government has pursued have involved at least some measure of participation from citizen...
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  • Moral Knowledge and the Genealogy of Error.Nicholas Smyth - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (3):455-474.
    In this paper, I argue that in order to explain our own moral reliability, we must provide a theory of error for those who disagree with us. Any story that seeks to vindicate our own reliability must also explain how so many others have gone wrong, otherwise it is not actually a vindicatory story. Thus, we cannot claim to have vindicated our own moral reliability unless we can explain the unreliability of those who hold contrary beliefs. This, I show, requires (...)
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  • What Might It Mean for Political Theory to Be More ‘Realistic’?John Horton - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):487-501.
    This paper explores two different versions of ‘the realist turn’ in recent political theory. It begins by setting out two principal realist criticisms of liberal moralism: that it is both descriptively and normatively inadequate. It then pursues the second criticism by arguing that there are two fundamentally different responses among realists to the alleged normative inadequacy of ideal theory. First, prescriptive realists argue that the aim of realism is to make political theory more normatively adequate by making it more realistic. (...)
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  • O Argumento da Estabilidade No Contratualismo de John Rawls.Petroni Lucas - 2017 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 58 (136):139-161.
    RESUMO Neste artigo, são rejeitadas duas teses relativamente aceitas a respeito do projeto filosófico tardio desenvolvido por John Rawls. A primeira tese afirma que o objetivo de obras como "O Liberalismo Político" e "Justiça como Equidade: Uma Reformulação" seria o de revisar a natureza do argumento contratualista de Rawls. A segunda, por sua vez, afirma que a principal consequência dessa revisão teria sido certo recuo das implicações igualitárias de sua teoria da justiça original. Procurar-se-á rejeitar ambas as proposições mostrando que (...)
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  • Conceptualising Peace and its Preconditions: The Anti-Pelagian Imagination and the Critical Turn in Peace Theory.Sophia Dingli - 2021 - Journal of International Political Theory 17 (3):468-487.
    This article examines the conceptualisations of peace and its preconditions manifested in the critical turn in peace theory: bottom-up approaches which begin with particular contexts and postulate diverse local actors as integral to the process of peace-building. This article argues that the turn is at an impasse and is unable to address the crucial charge that its conceptualisation of peace is inconsistent. To explain the persistence of inconsistency and to move us forward, the article analyses, evaluates and responds to the (...)
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  • Dirty Hands: The One and the Many.Charles Blattberg - 2018 - The Monist 101 (2):150-169.
    The problem of “dirty hands” concerns the possibility that there are situations in which, no matter what one does, there is no way to avoid committing a moral wrong. By presenting a taxonomy, this paper contends that the different ways of responding to the problem correspond to different positions as regards the classic metaphysical theme of “the One and the Many.” It is then suggested that the best, because most realistic, response aligns with an approach that would have us move (...)
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  • Liberalism After Communitarianism.Charles Blattberg - 2021 - In Gerard Delanty & Stephen Turner (eds.), Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory. Routledge.
    The ‘liberal-communitarian’ debate arose within anglophone political philosophy during the 1980s. This essay opens with an account of the main outlines of the debate, showing how liberals and communitarians tended to confront each other with opposing interpretations of John Rawls’ Theory of Justice (1999; originally published in 1971) and Political Liberalism (2005; originally published in 1993). The essay then proceeds to discuss four forms of ‘liberalism after communitarianism’: Michael Freeden’s account of liberalism as an ideology; Joseph Raz and Will Kymlicka’s (...)
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  • Human Rights, Legitimacy, Political Judgement.Edward Hall & Dimitrios Tsarapatsanis - 2021 - Res Publica 27 (2):171-185.
    This paper grapples with Bernard Williams’s prima vista enigmatic assertion that ‘[w]hether it is a matter of good philosophical sense to treat a practice as a violation of human rights, and whether it is politically good sense, cannot ultimately constitute two separate questions’. Though Williams’s approach to thinking about human rights has a number of affinities with other ‘political’ and ‘minimalist’ understandings, we highlight its distinctive features and argue that it has significant implications for our understanding of human rights along (...)
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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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  • Normativity and Radical Disadvantage in Bernard Williams’ Realist Theory of Legitimacy.Ben Cross - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-15.
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  • The End of the 1951 Refugee Convention? Dilemmas of Sovereignty, Territoriality, and Human Rights.Seyla Benhabib - 2020 - Jus Cogens 2 (1):75-100.
    The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol are the main legal documents governing the movement of refugee and asylum seekers across international borders. As the number of displaced persons seeking refuge has reached unprecedented numbers, states have resorted to measures to circumvent their obligations under the Convention. These range from bilateral agreements condemning refugees to their vessels at sea to the excision of certain territories from national jurisdiction. While socio-economic developments and the rise of the worldwide web have led (...)
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  • Matthew Kramer: Liberalism with Excellence: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017, 456 Pp, ISBN 9780198777960.Donald Bello Hutt - 2019 - Res Publica 25 (2):295-300.
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  • The Responsibility to Prevent, the Duty to Educate.Zohar Lederman, Alexandra Cernat, Eleonora Gregori Ferri, Franco Galbo, Guiomar Micol Andrea Levi-Setti, Mayli Mertens, Bryanna Moore, Olga Riklikiene, Jamie Vescio & Sheena Eagan Chamberlin - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (3):233-236.
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  • Suffering and the Making of Politics: Perspectives From Jaspers and Camus.Giunia Gatta - 2015 - Contemporary Political Theory 14 (4):335-354.
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  • A Defence of Liberal Ironism.Michael Bacon - 2005 - Res Publica 11 (4):403-423.
    Richard Rorty’s notion of ironism has been widely criticized for entailing frivolity and light-mindedness, for being inimical to moral commitment and, perhaps most importantly, for its putative incompatibility with his vision of liberalism. This paper suggests that these criticisms are misplaced, stemming from a misunderstanding of ironism that Rorty’s presentation has itself in part encouraged. The paper goes on to argue that ironism is not only consistent with the liberal society which Rorty favours, but that it can serve such a (...)
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  • Moral Character for Political Leaders: A Normative Account.Lucas Swaine - 2013 - Res Publica 19 (4):317-333.
    This article analyzes the moral and political implications of strong moral character for political action. The treatment provides reason to hold that strong moral character should play a role in a robust normative account of political leadership. The case is supported by empirical findings on character dispositions and the political viability of the account’s normative prescriptions.
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  • What Toleration Is.Andrew Jason Cohen - 2004 - Ethics 115 (1):68-95.
    Attempting to settle various debates from recent literature regarding its precise nature, I offer a detailed conceptual analysis of toleration. I begin by isolating toleration from other notions; this provides us some guidance by introducing the eight definitional conditions of toleration that I then explicate and defend. Together, these eight conditions indicate that toleration is an agent’s intentional and principled refraining from interfering with an opposed other (or their behavior, etc.) in situations of diversity, where the agent believes she has (...)
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  • What Difference Can It Make: Why Write Books on Global Justice in the First Place?Mathias Risse - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):96-117.
    This article looks at different conceptions of what political philosophy is as a vocation, with an eye on the question of what is the point of writing books specifically on global justice. The occasion for reflecting on this question is a particular line of criticism that has been advanced against my 2012 book On Global Justice. I introduce a Platonic conception of political philosophy and then turn to two contemporary conceptions: one due to Habermas and one due to Rawls. The (...)
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