The Problems of Communitarian Politics: Unity and Conflict

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In a memorable narrative Gregorius is born from an incestuous relationship between a noble brother and sister, and Ethnic and religious identity-markers compete with class and gender as principles shaping the organization and Ethnic and religious identity-markers compete with class and gender as principles shaping the organization and classification of everyday life.

But how are an individual's identity-based conflicts transformed and redefined? Identity is a specific form of social capital, hence contexts where Misogyny: The New Activism. New aspects of the misogyny that impacts girls and women worldwide continue to emerge every New aspects of the misogyny that impacts girls and women worldwide continue to emerge every day.

The Problems of Communitarian Politics: Unity and Conflict

However, recent movements e. Impassioned but practical, Mutualisms, interactions between two species that benefit both of them, have long captured the public Mutualisms, interactions between two species that benefit both of them, have long captured the public imagination. Their influence transcends levels of biological organization from cells to populations, communities, and ecosystems. Mutualistic symbioses were crucial to the origin of eukaryotic cells, This is the way contemporary political communitarianism is going cf.

Etzioni , ; Lehman ; see Frazer [] for a critique. It is doubtful whether the regimes which are deemed to have the best track record by Rorty are entirely procedural republics. He tries to show that American democracy has both liberal and republican traditions. The image of the person as a freely choosing, unencumbered self has only recently come to inform our constitutional practice.

Of course, the denial of the priority of the right over the good inevitably produces anxiety or even consternation in a liberal mind. She again emphasizes the dilemma of modern society: the disagreement about the nature of the good life. Because she does not deem this feasible, she thinks it is dangerous to weaken the priority of the liberal rights. Gutmann and Kymlicka have a point here. Liberalism is addressing the genuine problem of pluralism but we need to point out Rawlsian liberalism goes beyond the intent to avoid conflicts.

For example, Steven Kautz argues that liberals Rawls and Dworkin want to establish a liberal orthodoxy as well. Kautz is also exploring a kind of liberalism that does not go beyond the intent to avoid conflicts. Similarly, Patrick Neal [] advocates a kind of vulgar liberalism that admits to be merely a modus vivendi.

I agree that any alternative to liberalism must give an acceptable solution to the problem of pluralism, and accommodate the value of tolerance. But it does not follow that liberalism is the only, or the best, solution. For example, instead of giving priority to the right, we can give the priority to entrenched conceptions of good in a community, provided the basic rights and liberties are protected.

Communitarianism Theory in Hindi - Communitarianism & Liberalism UGC NET Political Science Lecture-7

As long as the majority of the people accept this solution, conflicts can also be avoided. Intolerant acts can be performed merely out of selfish desires. The relativism fostered by liberalism may also lead to new kinds of intolerance cf. Kautz [] on Rorty. It looks as if the crucial problem is the creation of a tolerant community. Perhaps it is possible to live in Salem and not to believe in witches. Gutmann is dismissing this possibility too quickly.

The standard liberal response to critics by invoking past atrocities of non-liberal political practices may not be applicable to contemporary communitarianism. For example, Sandel now clearly admits that intolerance could be performed in the name of the common good of a community. And the risks it entails inhere in the formative project. Although he places hope on the formative aspect of republican politics, it is not meant to sanction exclusion. There is also no need to assume that the common good is unitary and uncontestable. The republican conception of freedom only offers a way of conducting political argument, not transcending it.

He emphatically says that republicanism is by no means ignoring the importance of rights. The problematic liberal conception of person is shown up in practice, e. For him, there is a crucial distinction between promoting virtues and promoting a conception of good life.

Although liberalism has no intrinsic commitment to civic virtue, it is still an open question whether liberalism can promote civic virtue. To do this is consistent with the affirmation of the priority of the right over the good. He also suspects that in case of conflict between justice and communal good, Sandel will not choose differently from him. Civic republicanism and procedural liberalism should be allies rather than enemies after all Kymlicka , p. So there are still two different visions of citizenship and the public realm.

Let us consider the liberal virtues which Kymlicka mentions: civility, public reasonableness, sense of justice, and critical attitude towards governmental authority. I think Sandel will probably argue that these virtues alone are not sufficient to maintain a thick identity of a community, and the moral energy needed to sustain effective self-government. An individual can be civil and reasonable towards other citizens but at the same time entirely preoccupied with egoistic pursuits within the bounds of justice.

As William Galston observes, many Americans assert their rights but are not willing to fulfill their responsibilities, e. Kymlicka is correct to say that Sandel is his ally for the cause of social equality. By doing so it forfeits some of the very resources needed to foster a generous pluralism. In response to this reply, perhaps Kymlicka will argue that a t hin identity of community is sufficient. The basis for communal identity is not necessarily a shared conception of the good, but rather a more diffuse sense of belonging to an intergenerational society Kymlicka , pp.

In order to sustain just institutions and to rectify injustices, Kymlicka thinks it best to promote thin national identities together with local identities, say, of minority groups. Furthermore, other liberals will argue that paradoxically, a thin identity is exactly what constitutes the American community. All in all, critics of Sandel argue that a liberal understanding of identity is more appropriate to contemporary life.

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He also realizes that a self in contemporary society typically belongs to multiple communities Sandel , p. Sandel need not deny that Americans aspire to constitute a community of free-reliant individuals and the unencumbered self is to some extent the encumbrance of our modern social condition. However, I think he is correct to argue that it is incoherent to suppose the ideal of individualism or an unencumbered self alone can constitute a modern community. To the contrary, generosity of spirit is more likely to flow from confidently situated selves than from persons constantly confronted with the contingency and contestability of their identities.

The Limits of Public Reason. For example, Siegel claims that because Sandel is blind to the depth of moral divisions, he fails to see that moral argument in constitutional adjudication can do as much damage as it can good Siegel , p. So although Siegel admits that liberal neutrality is not in principle possible, it can help shelter individual rights. For instance, moral persuasion can be done in nonstate forums. Similarly, while Pettit also holds to a kind of republicanism which rejects no-value neutralism, he thinks a single value, i. I do not find the above arguments convincing.

To insist on the exclusive primacy of rights or nondomination talk seems to reflect a partisan stand.

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If the liberals cannot provide good moral arguments for the primacy of rights, then the restrictions of the public reason are not justified. Avoiding domination is a worthy political end, but it is not the only end… people disagree about what counts as a domination… how to identify and cope with the sources of domination in the modern world is an intensely political question that too often goes unaddressed in our politics. We should also note that Rawls has recently further relaxed the restrictions of his public reason. First, the restrictions of the public reason only apply to judges, state officials, etc.

Sometimes those who appear to reject the idea of public reason actually mean to assert the need for full and open discussion in the background culture. I refer to this requirements as the proviso" Rawls , pp. The "proviso is to be appropriately satisfied in good faith. Yet the details about how to satisfy this proviso … cannot feasibly be governed by a clear family of rules given in advance" Rawls , p. Third, "there are no restrictions or requirements on how religious or secular doctrines are themselves to be expressed; these doctrines need not, for example, be by some standards logically correct, or open to rational appraisal, or evidentially supportable" Rawls , p.

Moreover, Sandel has not successfully resolved the tension between large political community and local communities. If liberalism and civic republicanism are not exactly allies, as Kymlicka hopes, they can at least be partners in a fruitful dialogue with one another. Allen, Anita L. Regan, eds. Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Avineri, Shlomo and Avner de-Shalit, eds. Communitarianism and Individualism. Bellamy, Richard. Liberalism and Pluralism: Towards a Politics of Compromise. London : Routledge. Connolly, William E.

Nationalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Connolly, William. Why I Am Not a Secularist. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press. Etzioni, Amitai.


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New York : Basic Books. Etzioni, Amitai, ed. The Essential Communitarian Reader. Lanham , MD : Rowman and Littlefield. The Limits of Privacy. Frazer, Elizabeth. Galston, Wiliam A. Gewirth, Alan. Gutmann, Amy. Haldane, John. Kautz, Steven. Liberalism and Community. Ithaca : Cornell University Press. Kukathas, Chandran and Philip Pettit.

Rawls: A Theory of Justice and its Critics. Stanford , California : Stanford University Press. Kymlicka, Will. Larmore, Charles. Patterns of Moral Complexity.

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Oxford : Oxford University Press Description based upon print version of record. English Includes bibliographical references p. Description based on print version record. Communitarianism, Philosophical and Political""; ""2. The Concept 'Community'""; ""3. Communitarianism, Interpretation, and Politics""; ""4.


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Social Constructionism""; ""5. Community, Locality, and Politics""; ""6. Political Communitarianism and Family Life""; ""7. Communities Political aspects. Related item. Bibliography Electronic books. Summary This study offers a detailed critical analysis of the ideal of community in politics. The book traces elements of the idea of community in several social and philosophical contexts over the last century.

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