Within the field of political philosophy, the role of states, governments, and institutions has dominated research. This has led to a dearth of literature that examines what individuals—e.g., voters, lobbyists, and politicians—ought (or ought not) to do. Ethics in Politics: The Rights and Obligations of Individual Political Agents meets this need, providing a timely discussion of normative questions concerning political agents and the systems in which they act. The book contains eighteen original chapters by leading scholars which cover a range of topics including irrational voting, bribery, partisanship, and political lying. Ethics in Politics is a unique and accessible resource for students, researchers, and all interested readers, and sheds light on important but underexplored issues in ethics and political philosophy.
Part I: Lying in Politics
1. Murderers at the Ballot Box: When Politicians May Lie to Bad Voters
2. The Greatest Liar Has His Believers: The Social Epistemology of Political Lying
Part II: Nonideal Politicking
3. Nonideal Politicians or Nonideal Circumstances?: Rethinking Dirty Hands
4. In Defense of Partisanship
5. A Defense of Senate Obstructionism
6. Conviction and Open-Mindedness: A Lesson on Political Revision from Adam Smith
Part III: The Ethics of Voter Reasoning
7. Must We Vote for the Common Good?
8. A Demarcation Problem for Political Discourse
9. Public Reason and Its Limits
Part IV: Why Vote?
10. Why Bad Votes Can Nonetheless Be Cast and Why Bad Voters May Cast Them
11. The Rationality of Voting and Duties of Elected Officials
12. A Defense of the Right Not to Vote
13. Expanding on the Wrongness of Bribery: The Morality of Casting a Vote
Part V: Arguing on Others’ Behalf
14. Devil’s Advocates: On the Ethics of Unjust Legal Advocacy
15. Prosecutors, Guilty Pleas, and the Consequences of a Conviction
16. Are Lobbyists Lawyers?