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Jeremy Waldron and the Circumstances of Politics / Alex Latham-Gambi

The Review of Politics, Volume: 83, Issue: 2, Pages: 242 - 263

Swansea University Author: Alex Latham-Gambi

Abstract

This article examines Jeremy Waldron’s concept of the ‘circumstances of politics’ (CoP), which he describes as the felt need for a common decision in the face of disagreement. Waldron uses the CoP to detach certain issues surrounding civic virtue and institutional design from questions about substan...

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Published in: The Review of Politics
ISSN: 0034-6705 1748-6858
Published: Notre Dame Cambridge University Press (CUP) 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa54266
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Abstract: This article examines Jeremy Waldron’s concept of the ‘circumstances of politics’ (CoP), which he describes as the felt need for a common decision in the face of disagreement. Waldron uses the CoP to detach certain issues surrounding civic virtue and institutional design from questions about substantive principles like justice, human rights etc.. While emphasis is often placed on the fact of disagreement, I argue that the other aspect of the CoP, the need for collective action, is in fact the more fundamental. Waldron’s arguments rely on an understanding that there is expressive value in citizens affirming commitment to the political community and on an awareness of how the nature of politics as public collective action is structured by the constitutional architecture. I argue that a lopsided focus on disagreement threatens to obscure the fact the political sphere is itself a fragile achievement that is in need of continual support.
College: Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
Issue: 2
Start Page: 242
End Page: 263