Is pluralism inherent to the human condition? Does it have its origins in the diversity of cultures? Are disagreements among individuals the same as disagreements among societies?
Focusing on these critical questions essential to understanding of modern societies, this book traces the origins of pluralism in contemporary political thought, and presents new, original interpretations of the idea by contemporary philosophers. The essays in the volume bring clarity into an ongoing fractious debate and reveal the underlying roots and fissures in our understanding of a dynamic and contested idea. Drawing on the works of John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas and other major political philosophers, they delve into the different strands of the concept, their possible real-world political outcomes, as well as popular misconceptions.
A key text, this volume will be essential reading for scholars and researchers of politics, political theory and philosophy, and social theory.
Ingrid Salvatore and Volker Kaul
PART I: Epistemic Pluralism and Democracy
1. From Pluralism to Liberalism: The Long Way Around
2. Pluralism and Deliberation
3. Social Choice or Collective Decision-making: What Is Politics All About?
4. Liberalism, Pluralism, and a Third Way
PART II: Political Pluralism and Reasonable Consensus
5. Sideways at the Entrance of the Cave: A Pluralist Footnote to Plato
6. Pluralism and the Possibility of a Liberal Political Consensus
7. Modus Vivendi Liberalism, Practice-dependence and Political Legitimacy
8. A Pluralist Model of Democracy
9. Rawls, Religion, and the Clash of Civilizations
PART III: Cultures, Religions, and Politics
10. The Practice of Liberty
11. Sharing a Conception of Justice, Sharing a Conception of the Good: Liberalism as a Pluralist Theory vs. Pluralism as a Non-Liberal Theory
12. Pluralism and Solidarity: Non-Authoritarian Reasoning and Non-Fundamentalist Attitude
13. Populism, Liberalism and Nationalism
Whereas the interrelation of ethics and political thought has been recognized since the dawn of political reflection, we have witnessed over the last 60 years – roughly since the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights – a particularly turbulent process of dilating, indeed globalizing, the coverage and application of that interrelation. At the very instant the decolonized globe consolidated the universality of the sovereign nation-state, that sovereignty – and the political thought that grounded it – was eroded and outstripped, not as in eras past, by imperial conquest and war, but rather by instruments of peace (charters, declarations, treaties, conventions), commerce and communication (multinational enterprises, international media, global aviation and transport, internet technologies).
Has political theory kept apace with global political realities? Can ethical reflection illuminate the murky challenges of real global politics?
The book series 'Ethics, Human Rights and Global Political Thought' addresses these crucial questions by bringing together outstanding texts interrogating the intersection of normative theorizing and political realities with a global focus. The volumes discuss key aspects of the contemporary chiasmus of the local and the global – social movements and global justice, folkways and human rights, poverty and sustainability, rural realities and the cosmopolitan hyperreal.