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The Politics of Moralizing

Bennett, Jane

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ISBN 10: 041593477X / ISBN 13: 9780415934770
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Politics of Moralizing

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: HRD

Book Condition: New

About this title


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.

From the Inside Flap:

"Amidst the complex, transversal networks of our globalizing world, where so much about our lives seems to be under pressure, moralizing voices abound. Jane Bennett and Michael Shapiro have dealt with this cacophony by compiling a quality collection of reflections that provides a sanctuary for creative thought about justice. It comes as a much needed and welcome relief for anyone disturbed by the punitive certainties of the contemporary period."
--David Campbell, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

"The essays in this volume enliven and illuminate a vital question in contemporary political theory, namely, how to fashion affirmative discourses and practices that resist the self-righteousness, resentment, deafness, and depoliticizing aspects of moralizing postures across the political spectrum. Probing a wide range of problems, these writers make fascinating and important contributions to the renewal of democratic politics, ethics and aesthetics. The Politics of Moralizing stimulates not only with its substantive depth, but also by virtue of the creative rhetorical styles with which it seeks to embody these insights."
—Romand Coles, Duke University

"At a time when contemporary politics - both conventional and radical – is increasingly conducted in moral terms, there is a need for analyses that recognize the political importance of ethics, yet refuse to moralize. These essays make a significant start in displaying the liabilities of moralizing through stimulating critiques of an array of political movements. Thus they help us think more clearly about the vital tasks that confront a politics of ethical judgment today."
—Nikolas Rose, London School of Economics

"Timeliness is not a virtue we ordinarily expect from a volume in political theory, yet The Politics of Moralizing furnishes a timely critical response to the growth in moralizing that was already under way before September 11, 2001, and which has certainly spiked since. Not a mere palliative for the cynical, the contributors offer a strategic counterweight to the oppressive slide of the discussion of morals into moralizing discourse. These essays intriguingly blend political theory with political analysis and commentary, while examining a broad array of topics from political movements and policy to literature, religion, public architecture and memorials, among others
–Steven Gerencser, Indiana University South Bend

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