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Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

, sovereignty could be challenged, whether through R2P, the demands of the ICC, universal jurisdiction, human rights, the Genocide Convention, crimes against humanity and so on. What made this possible was the lack of a state capable of challenging the US, which was explicitly committed in principle to economic and political liberalism (even as it found ways to exempt itself from the impact of those rules). And even where intervention did not occur, and the US explicitly rejected norms around rights and intervention, the space opened for a small army

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Reasonable tolerance

The idea of toleration as the appropriate response to difference has been central to liberal thought since Locke. Although the subject has been widely and variously explored, there has been reluctance to acknowledge the new meaning that current debates offer on toleration. This book starts from a clear recognition of the new terms of the debate, reflecting the capacity of seeing the other's viewpoint, and the limited extent to which toleration can be granted. Theoretical statements on toleration posit at the same time its necessity in democratic societies, and its impossibility as a coherent ideal. There are several possible objections to, and ways of developing the ideal of, reasonable tolerance as advocated by John Rawls and by some other supporters of political liberalism. The first part of the book explores some of them. In some real-life conflicts, it is unclear on whom the burden of reasonableness may fall. This part discusses the reasonableness of pluralism, and general concept and various more specific conceptions of toleration. The forces of progressive politics have been divided into two camps: redistribution and recognition. The second part of the book is an attempt to explore the internal coherence of such a transformation when applied to different contexts. It argues that openness to others in discourse, and their treatment as free and equal, is part of a kind of reflexive toleration that pertains to public communication in the deliberative context. Social ethos, religious discrimination and education are discussed in connection with tolerance.

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The place of equal opportunity

basic liberty in his more recent book Political Liberalism . 28 But he accepts that freedom of occupation can be secured without the principle of fair equality of opportunity being satisfied. 29 Freedom of occupation, when it is conceived as a negative liberty in Rawls’s preferred way, in effect as the absence of state-directed labour, does not seem to require equal chances of success for the similarly endowed and motivated. (Nor does

in Political concepts

? Brian Barry claims that what follows is scepticism, understood as doubt rather than denial.5 Since we cannot persuade others of the truth of our own conception of the good, we must hold that conception with some doubt, and doubt is all that is necessary in order to generate (moderate) scepticism. Rawls, however, resists this conclusion because he believes that political liberalism ought, so far as possible, to stand back from questions of the highest good and from metaphysical and philosophical questions generally. In a society characterised by reasonable pluralism

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies
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Reasonable tolerance

, that it may carry too little conviction to motivate in real life, for it appears to entail a counterintuitive conception of people’s commitment to their own beliefs and values, suggesting that they hold their beliefs, and commit to their values, in a provisional way. As a move away from merely prudential or deeply sceptical justifications of toleration, contemporary philosophers subscribing to some form of political liberalism have argued that the justification of political principles must proceed according to the ideal of public reason.9 Broadly stated, this ideal

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies

, ‘Pluralism and Liberalism: A Reply’, Political Studies, 42:2 (1994) 306–9. See Berlin, ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’. J. Rawls, Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), p. 226. J. Rawls, ‘The idea of public reason revisited’, in S. Freeman (ed.), John Rawls: Collected Papers (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999), p. 577. See B. Herman, ‘Pluralism and the community of moral judgement’, in D. Heyd (ed.), Toleration: An Elusive Virtue (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), pp. 81–105. Rawls, ‘The idea of public reason revisited’, p

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies

formulation just quoted referred not only to compossibility and maximisation but also to the idea of ‘a similar liberty for others’.8 In Political Liberalism, the equality constraint MCK1 1/10/2003 18 10:17 AM Page 18 Toleration and reasonableness is more prominent: ‘Each person has an equal claim to a fully adequate scheme of equal basic rights and liberties, which scheme is compatible with the same scheme for all.’9 Equality here may be understood in two ways. It might mean that the liberties must be the same for everyone: if P has a right to do X, then everyone in

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies

) Dewey was adamant that the entire meaning of liberalism and liberty must now be reconstructed to help facilitate creative democracy and the habits of social intelligence in the midst of the Great Society. To this end, Dewey recovered what he called the ‘formula of early democratic political liberalism’ that located the relationship between equality and liberty and recognized the historical relativity associated with obtaining this goal. This conception of democratic liberty, which in the hands of Dewey was another name for the democratic way of life, viewed that all

in John Dewey
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. 25 Rawls, Theory of Justice , pp. 140–1, 587. 26 J. Rawls, Political Liberalism (New York, Columbia University Press, 1993), p. 49. 27 Rawls, Political Liberalism , p. 49, n. 2. Scanlon’s current position (which is different) is set out in T

in Political concepts
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, Clarendon Press, 1979), pp. 210–11. 4 For example, J. Rawls, Political Liberalism (New York, Columbia University Press, 1993). 5 F. von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (London, Routledge, 1944), ch. 6. 6 Hayek, Road to Serfdom , pp

in Political concepts