Arguments and fists: political agency and justification in liberal theory

New York: Routledge (2002)
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Many theorists have addressed a central concern of current political theory by contending that the dithering intellectualism of left politics prevents genuine political action. Arguments and Fists confronts this concern by refuting these arguments, and reconciling philosophical debates with the realities of current activism. By looking at theorists such as Montesquieu, Kant, Rousseau, the book contradicts current academic debates and also goes against contemporary theory's image of the liberal political agent as a narrowly rational abstraction. Mika LaVaque-Manty also argues that progressive political philosophy and political action go hand in hand. He then ventures past Kant and Rousseau to talk about specific environmental activism, finding middle ground between the two while asserting that the liberal urge for political reform stems from sound philosophical considerations about the nature of politics and isn't the "cowardly" afterthoughts some theorists have called it. Arguments and Fists then puts these theoretical insights to use, examining environmental justice movements and varieties of environmental radicalism, showing how liberal theory illuminates concrete contemporary political practices.



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Citations of this work

Laws, passion, and the attractions of right action in Montesquieu.Sharon R. Krause - 2006 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (2):211-230.
Parks and refs: Community, solidarity, and public space.Margaret Kohn - 2016 - Contemporary Political Theory 15 (4):446-452.
A Fluid Demos for a Hypermigration Polity.Enrico Biale - 2019 - Res Publica 25 (1):101-117.

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