The politics of Dissensus and Political Liberalism
AuthorAlnes, Jan Harald
An emerging branch of political theory, ‘the politics of dissensus’, starts out from the premise that in order to understand the politics of constitutional democracies, one needs to focus on parliamentary politics, which compromises both institutional settings and debates. Politics takes place among adversaries, and dissensus and argumentation pro et contra is the rule. The focus on the conditions for consensus in contemporary democratic theory accordingly misses the essence of politics. The politics of dissensus tends to think that the political philosophy inaugurated by John Rawls, political liberalism in particular, is too idealistic and utopian to capture real parliamentary politics. I argue that this basic objection against political liberalism is misconceived. To the contrary, the politics of dissensus and political liberalism supplement each other. The impact of my argument is that research in these disparate fields of political studies ought to enlighten each of them.
Accepted manuscript version. Published version at http://doi.org/10.1177/0191453716658692.
CitationAlnes JHA. The politics of Dissensus and Political Liberalism. Philosophy & Social Criticism. 2016:1-18
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