A Study in Utopia and Democracy
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Radical Civility unearths civility’s extraordinary potential by addressing why the virtue has fallen into crisis, recalling the injunctions that transpose utopia upon the stingy politics of likelihood, and by offering a vision of citizens who find purpose in dignifying each other.
Jason Caro takes a three pronged approach; first identifying the effects of the misuse of civility, then expanding the meaning of civility, and finally offering applied examples of civility. Civility bears its participants to utopia. Such utopia has many forms: the politics of unlikelihood, the civil community, the ideal civility situation, or charmocracy. Unlike many studies of political manners, Caro embraces the relation between the virtue and politeness. Civility is then the effort to have politics charm. Caro draws out the full potential of the virtue by observing how such politeness is a particular mode of communicative action whereby participants are not merely exchanging face-saving gestures but constructing utopia.
This radical stance raises the stakes of the debate on civility by setting the book implacably against realism and its politics of likelihood. It will appeal to those in the social sciences, cultural studies, social psychology, philosophy, communication, and peace studies.
Table of Contents
2. Warning Sign
3. The Problem of Malpropriety
4. Civility and Justice
5. Radical Civilities
6. Democratic Manners
7. Utopian Citizenship
Jason Caro is associate professor of political science at the University of Houston-Downtown and has published in venues ranging from Political Theory and Political Studies to Philosophy and Social Criticism and the Continental Philosophy Review. His first book was titled the Origins of Free Peoples. This is his second book and should be a useful addition to the topic of civility and the politics of manners.