The Politics of Moralizing issues a stern warning about the risks of speaking, writing, and thinking in a manner too confident about one's own judgments and asks, "Can a clear line be drawn between dogmatism and simple certainty and indignation?" Bennett and Shapiro enter the debate by questioning what has become a popular, even pervasive, cultural narrative told by both the left and the right: the story of the West's moral decline, degeneration, or confusion. Contributors explore the dynamics and dilemmas of moralizing by advocates of patriotism, environmental protection, and women's rights while arguing that the current discourse gives free license to self-aggrandizement, cruelty, vengeance and punitiveness and a generalized resistance to or abjection of diversity.
Michael Shapiro is Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii. Jane Bennett is Professor of Political Science at Goucher College.