How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Political Normativity

Political Studies Review (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Do salient normative claims about politics require moral premises? Political moralists think they do, political realists think they do not. We defend the viability of realism in a two-pronged way. First, we show that a number of recent attacks on realism, as well as realist responses to those attacks, unduly conflate distinctively political normativity and non-moral political normativity. Second, we argue that Alex Worsnip and Jonathan Leader-Maynard’s recent attack on realist arguments for a distinctively political normativity depends on assuming moralism as the default view, which places an excessive burden on the viability of realism, and so begs the question. Our discussion, though, does not address the relative merits of realism and moralism, so its upshot is relatively ecumenical: moralism need not be the view that all apt normative political judgments are moral judgments, and realism need not be the view that no apt normative political judgments are moral judgments.

Author's Profile

Enzo Rossi
University of Amsterdam

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