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Alexander Livingston
Cornell University
  1.  81
    Theorizing the Politics of Protest: Contemporary Debates on Civil Disobedience.Çiğdem Çıdam, William E. Scheuerman, Candice Delmas, Erin R. Pineda, Robin Celikates & Alexander Livingston - 2020 - Contemporary Political Theory 19 (3):513-546.
  2.  20
    Fidelity to Truth: Gandhi and the Genealogy of Civil Disobedience.Alexander Livingston - 2018 - Political Theory 46 (4):511-536.
    Mohandas Gandhi is civil disobedience’s most original theorist and most influential mythmaker. As a newspaper editor in South Africa, he chronicled his experiments with satyagraha by drawing parallels to ennobling historical precedents. Most enduring of these were Socrates and Henry David Thoreau. The genealogy Gandhi invented in these years has become a cornerstone of contemporary liberal narratives of civil disobedience as a continuous tradition of conscientious appeal ranging from Socrates to King to Rawls. One consequence of this contemporary canonization of (...)
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  3.  10
    Tough Love: The Political Theology of Civil Disobedience.Alexander Livingston - 2020 - Perspectives on Politics 3 (18):851-866.
    Love is a key concept in the theory and history of civil disobedience yet it has been purposefully neglected in recent debates in political theory. Through an examination of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s paradoxical notion of “aggressive love,” I offer a critical interpretation of love as a key concept in a vernacular black political theology, and the consequences of love’s displacement by law in liberal theories of civil disobedience. The first section locates the origins of aggressive love in an earlier (...)
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  4. Power for the Powerless: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Late Theory of Civil Disobedience.Alexander Livingston - 2020 - Journal of Politics 2 (82):700-713.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” has been canonized as an essential statement of the political theory of civil disobedience. This article examines the early reception of King’s essay and the development of the liberal idea of civil disobedience it has become synonymous with to argue that its canonization coincided with, and displaced, the radicalization of King’s developing thinking about disobedience. It examines published and archival writings from 1965 through 1968 to reconstruct King’s power-oriented theory of “mass” (...)
     
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  5.  13
    Damn Great Empires!: William James and the Politics of Pragmatism.Alexander Livingston - 2016 - New York: Oxford University Press USA.
    Damn Great Empires! offers a new perspective on the works of William James by placing his encounter with American imperialism at the center of his philosophical vision. This book reconstructs James's overlooked political thought by treating his anti-imperialist Nachlass -- his speeches, essays, notes, and correspondence on the United States' annexation of the Philippines -- as the key to unlocking the political significance of his celebrated writings on psychology, religion, and philosophy. It shows how James located a craving for authority (...)
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  6.  33
    Against Civil Disobedience: On Candice Delmas’ A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil.Alexander Livingston - 2019 - Res Publica 25 (4):591-597.
  7.  36
    Avoiding Deliberative Democracy? Micropolitics, Manipulation, and the Public Sphere.Alexander Livingston - 2012 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 45 (3):269.
    This article examines the critique of deliberative democracy leveled by William Connolly. Drawing on both recent findings in cognitive science as well on Gilles Deleuze's cosmological pluralism, Connolly argues that deliberative democracy, and the contemporary left more generally, is guilty of intellectualism for overlooking the embodied, visceral register of political judgment. Going back to Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus, this article reconstructs the working assumptions of Connolly's critique and argues that it unwittingly leads to an indefensible embrace of manipulation. (...)
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  8.  11
    Stuttering Conviction: Commitment and Hesitation in William James’ Oration to Robert Gould Shaw.Alexander Livingston - 2013 - Contemporary Political Theory 12 (4):255-276.
    This article reconstructs a pragmatist conception of political conviction from the works of William James. Pragmatism is often criticized for failing to account for the force of moral convictions to motivate risky and confrontational political action. This article argues that such criticisms presume a conception of conviction as an experience of moral command that pragmatism rejects. In its place, pragmatism portrays the experience of conviction as acting on faith. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s notion of the stutter, I argue that this (...)
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  9.  39
    Book Review: Democracy’s Spectacle: Sovereignty and Public Life in Antebellum American Writing, by Jennifer GreimanDemocracy’s Spectacle: Sovereignty and Public Life in Antebellum American Writing, by GreimanJennifer. New York: Fordham University Press, 2010. Xi + 276. [REVIEW]Alexander Livingston - 2016 - Political Theory 44 (1):136-140.
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  10.  23
    Pragmatism, Practice and the Politics of Critique.Alexander Livingston - 2017 - Contemporary Pragmatism 14 (2):212-220.
    Colin Koopman’s Pragmatism as Transition offers an argumentative retelling of the history of American pragmatism in terms of the tradition’s preoccupation with time. Taking time seriously offers a venue for reorienting pragmatism today as a practice of cultural critique. This article examines the political implications third wave pragmatism’s conceptualization of time, practice, and critique. I argue that Koopman’s book opens up possible lines of inquiry into historical practices of critique from William James to James Baldwin that, when followed through to (...)
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  11.  39
    Stuttering Conviction: Commitment and Hesitation in William James|[Rsquo]| Oration to Robert Gould Shaw.Alexander Livingston - 2013 - Contemporary Political Theory 12 (4):255.
    This article reconstructs a pragmatist conception of political conviction from the works of William James. Pragmatism is often criticized for failing to account for the force of moral convictions to motivate risky and confrontational political action. This article argues that such criticisms presume a conception of conviction as an experience of moral command that pragmatism rejects. In its place, pragmatism portrays the experience of conviction as acting on faith. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s notion of the stutter, I argue that this (...)
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  12.  24
    Violence and Civility: On the Limits of Political Philosophy.Alexander Livingston - 2017 - Contemporary Political Theory 16 (2):303-307.
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  13.  13
    Book Review: The Virtues of Exit: On Resistance and Quitting Politics, by Jennet Kirkpatrick. [REVIEW]Alexander Livingston - 2019 - Political Theory 47 (4):612-616.
  14.  9
    Some Political Consequences of Pragmatism.Alexander Livingston - 2019 - Contemporary Pragmatism 16 (4):329-336.
    The question of what political consequences, if any, follow from American pragmatism is nearly as old as pragmatism itself. David Rondel’s Pragmatist Egalitarianism breathes new life into this old debate. Rondel outlines a distinctively pluralistic and problem-oriented approach to political philosophy that claims to “reconcile and mediate” the false dichotomies and interminable debates marking philosophical discourses of egalitarian justice. This article identifies two competing visions of the political consequences of Rondel’s egalitarian brand of pragmatism: one Rortyan and deflationary, the other (...)
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  15.  12
    Entangled Humanism as a Political Project: William Connolly’s Facing the Planetary.Anatoli Ignatov, Nicole Grove, Alexander Livingston & William E. Connolly - 2019 - Contemporary Political Theory 18 (1):115-134.
  16.  1
    In Extremis: The Wildness of William James.Alexander Livingston - 2022 - Contemporary Pragmatism 19 (1):23-34.
    William James advocates strenuousness as the key to the moral life yet his hunger for extreme experiences sometimes leads him to risk sacrificing morality in their pursuit. This paradox is best represented by James’s fascination with soldiers and warfare as exemplars of the strenuous life. This essay examines the tension between strenuousness and morality in James’s ethical thought through the lens of his celebration of wildness. Wildness, I argue, names the hungry craving for meaning, lust for intense, novel, and risky (...)
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  17.  6
    Some Political Consequences of Pragmatism.Alexander Livingston - 2019 - Contemporary Pragmatism 16 (4):327-336.
    The question of what political consequences, if any, follow from American pragmatism is nearly as old as pragmatism itself. David Rondel’s Pragmatist Egalitarianism breathes new life into this old debate. Rondel outlines a distinctively pluralistic and problem-oriented approach to political philosophy that claims to “reconcile and mediate” the false dichotomies and interminable debates marking philosophical discourses of egalitarian justice. This article identifies two competing visions of the political consequences of Rondel’s egalitarian brand of pragmatism: one Rortyan and deflationary, the other (...)
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  18.  2
    Book Review: The Virtues of Exit: On Resistance and Quitting Politics, by Jennet Kirkpatrick. [REVIEW]Alexander Livingston - 2019 - Political Theory 47 (4):612-616.
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