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Ethos Of Pluralization

William Connolly

Publication Year: 1995

How plural, really, is pluralism today? In this book a prominent political theorist reworks the traditional pluralist imagination, rendering it more inclusive and responsive to new drives to pluralization. Traditional pluralism, William E. Connolly shows, gives too much priority to past political settlements, allotments of public space and power relations already made and fixed. It deflates the politics of pluralization. The Ethos of Pluralization explores the constitutive tension between pluralism and pluralization, pursuing an ethos of politics that enables new forces of pluralization to find receptive responses in public life. Connolly explores how contemporary drives to pluralize stir the reactionary forces of political fundamentalism and how fundamentalism generates the cultural fragmentation it purports to resist. The reluctance of traditional pluralists to address the tension between pluralism and pluralization plays into the hands of fundamentalist forces. The Ethos of Pluralization eventually ranges beyond the borders of the territorial state to explore relations between the globalization of economic life and a more adventurous pluralization of political identities. Engaging images of pluralism and nationalism advanced by Tocqueville, Schumpeter, Ricoeur, Walzer, Herz, and Kurth, Connolly draws selectively upon Nietzsche, Foucault, Butler and Deleuze to delineate an ethos of politics that makes for new identities while protecting conditions that make pluralism and governance possible.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Series: Barrows Lectures

Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

I am grateful to the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto for a fellowship in 1993-94 that allowed me to complete this book. Life on the Hill is great. Not only were the daily volleyball games a competitive delight, I profited immensely from conversations with Mark Baker, Jamshed Barucha, ...

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Introduction: The Pluralist Imagination

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pp. xi-xxx

Pluralism, advertised as a diverse, tolerant form of life, is again on the discussion agenda in Europe and America. Its resurgence reflects the contingent confluence of several elements. They include the collapse of communist states, accompanied by the post-Marxist appreciation of energies in civil society exceeding the unity of command economies;1 ...

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1. Nothing Is Fundamental...

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pp. 1-40

Onta, the really existing things; ontology, the study of the fundamental logic of reality apart from appearances. These determinations are both too restrictive and too total for what I have in mind. For example, the logos in ontology already suggests a fundamental logic, principle, or design of being. ...

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2. The Desire to Punish

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pp. 41-74

What calls for punishment? In a country where rape, murder, mugging, drug wars, and corruption are rampant, the answer seems too self-evident to warrant the question. Crime calls for punishment: to protect the innocent against the criminal in the future, to deter others inclined to crime, ...

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3. Democracy, Equality, Normality

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pp. 75-104

C. B. Macpherson, a Marxist political theorist, was a democrat and a visionary, with each of these terms conditioning the other. His contributions to democratic theory, written mostly between 1966 and 1977, provide an opportunity for self-reflection and critical renewal for those who were his students and colleagues. ...

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4. Fundamentalism in America

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pp. 105-134

Fundamentalism, as conventionally understood in the country where the term was introduced, is a general imperative to assert an absolute, singular ground of authority; to ground your own identity and allegiances in this unquestionable source; to define political issues in a vocabulary of God, morality, or nature that invokes such a certain, authoritative source; ...

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5. Democracy and Territoriality

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pp. 135-162

In late modernity, the nostalgic idealism of territorial democracy fosters the nostalgic realism of international relations. And vice versa. The nostalgia is for a time in the past when the politics of place could be imagined as a coherent possibility for the future. ...

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6. Tocqueville, Religiosity, and Pluralization

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pp. 163-198

Boundaries abound. Between humanity and the gods. Between human and animal. Between culture and nature. Between life and death. Between genders, nations, peoples, times, races, classes, and territories. But boundaries have also become problematic today, perhaps more so than before. ...


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pp. 199-236


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pp. 237-243

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About the Author

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William E. Connolly teaches political theory at Johns Hopkins University, where he is a professor of political science. He has served as the editor of Political Theory and is now the series editor of Contestations: Cornell Studies in Political Theory. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780816686780
E-ISBN-10: 0816686785
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816626694

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 1995

Edition: First edition
Series Title: Barrows Lectures