1st Edition

Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context
Dialogues with James Tully

ISBN 9781138950818
Published July 23, 2015 by Routledge
300 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context: Dialogues with James Tully gathers leading thinkers from across the humanities and social sciences in a celebration of, and critical engagement with, the recent work of Canadian political philosopher James Tully. Over the past thirty years, James Tully has made key contributions to some of the most pressing questions of our time, including: interventions in the history of moral and political thought, contemporary political philosophy, democracy, citizenship, imperialism, recognition and cultural diversity. In 2008, he published Public Philosophy in a New Key, a two-volume work that promises to be one of the most influential and important statements of legal and political thought in recent history. This work, along with numerous other books and articles, is foundational to a distinctive school of political thought, influencing thinkers in fields as diverse as Anthropology, History, Indigenous Studies, Law, Philosophy and Political Science. Critically engaging with James Tully’s thought, the essays in this volume take up what is his central, and ever more pressing, question: how to enact democratic practices of freedom within and against historically sedimented and actually existing relationships of imperialism?

Table of Contents

1. Editor’s Introduction, Robert Nichols & Jakeet Singh; PART I: Recasting Public Philosophy: 2. Engagement, Proposals and the Key of Reasoning, Anthony Simon Laden; 3. Freedom as practice and Civic genius: On James Tully’s Public Philosophy, Eduardo Mendieta; 4. At the Edges of Civic Freedom: Violence, Power, Enmity, Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo; 5. "’[Un]Dazzled by the ideal?’—James Tully and New Realism, Bonnie Honig; PART II: In Dialogue with the Past: 6. Vattel, Imperialism, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Antony Anghie; 7. On the Moral Justification of Reparation for New World Slavery, David Scott; 8. Postnational Constellations? Political Citizenship and the Modern State, Christian Emden; PART III: Re-Imagining Civic Freedom Today: 9. Spaces of Freedom, Citizenship and State in the Context of Globalization: South Africa and Bolivia, Eunice N. Sahle; 10. ‘Becoming Black’: Acting Otherwise and Re-imagining Community, Aletta J. Norval; 11. Accessing Tully: Political Philosophy for the Everyday and the Everyone, Val Napoleon and Hadley Friedland; PART IV: 12. Responses: James Tully

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Robert Nichols is Assistant Professor of Political Theory at the University of Alberta (Canada). His areas of research include 19th and 20th century continental philosophy and the study of imperialism and settler-colonialism in the history of political thought.

Jakeet Singh is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics & Government at Illinois State University. His research interests include imperialism and postcolonialism, social justice, and critiques of (neo)liberal-democracy. His work has appeared in Third World Quarterly and Theory, Culture & Society.


‘This impressive collection of essays examines the ideas of one of the most important political philosophers of our time. It is a must read for everyone interested in how philosophy can contribute to freedom and democracy in a practical way.’

John Borrows, Professor of Law, Public Policy and Society, University of Minnesota Law School


‘James Tully’s work has had a powerful impact on contemporary political philosophy, political theory, law and Indigenous studies, especially since his landmark Strange Multiplicity (1995). This collection of essays provides an impressive and wide-ranging contribution to the emerging field of Tully studies. It is indispensable to all interested in his novel approach to public philosophy.’

Paul Patton, University of New South Wales


'This superb volume constructs a comprehensive agonic encounter with one of the most significant political theorists currently writing. James Tully’s work is tested and contested through dialogues with a range of insightful critics in a collection that engages the philosophical foundations, genealogical approach and political commitments of Tully’s project, while perspicuously situating it within the general field of contemporary political thought. This is a ‘must-read’ for social and political theorists.'

David Owen, University of Southampton