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Module Reading List

Political Theory in Action, 2019/20, Semester 1
Dr Derek Edyvane
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Week 1 - Introduction - What is the Point of Political Theory?

There is no required reading for this week, though you may wish to consult the following sources on the nature and methods of political theory.

Jeremy Waldron, ‘ PoliticalPolitical Theory: An Inaugural Lecture’, The journal of political philosophy.. 21/1 (2012): 1-23.

David Miller, Justice for earthlings : essays in political philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, (Chapter 1, ‘Political Philosophy for Earthlings’). EBook available

Jonathan Floyd and Marc Stears (eds), Political philosophy versus history? : contextualism and real politics in contemporary political thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Raymond Geuss, Philosophy and Real Politics . Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.

Bonnie Honig, Political theory and the displacement of politics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993.

Chantal Mouffe, The return of the political , London: New York: Verso, 1993.

Mark Philp, ‘Realism Without Illusions’ Political theory. 40/5 (2012): 629-49.

Bernard Williams, ‘Realism and Moralism in Political Theory’ in his In the beginning was the deed : realism and moralism in political argument. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.

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Week 2 - Justice (I) - Justice as Fairness 

Required Reading:

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999. §§1-4, 8, 10-17  

Further Reading:

B. Barry, Theories of justice, California, 1989

Norman Daniels (ed.),  Reading Rawls, Oxford: Blackwell, 1975

Samuel Freeman (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Rawls, Cambridge University Press, 2003

Stuart Hampshire, Justice is conflict. London: Duckworth, 1999.

Stuart Hampshire, Innocence and experience. London: Penguin, 1989.

Michael Sandel, Justice, what’s the right thing to do? , London: Penguin, 2009.

Michael Sandel, Liberalism and the limits of justice, Cambridge University Press, 1982

Amartya Sen, The idea of justice, London: Allen Lane, 2009

Iris Marion Young. Justice and the politics of difference, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990

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Week 3 - Justice (II) - The Social Contract

Required Reading:

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice , Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999. §§ 20-27, 29-30, 40, 69-72, 75-76, 86  

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Week 4 - Justice (III) - Structural Injustice and Microaggressions

Required Reading:

Iris Marion Young, Responsibility for justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. (chapters 2 and 4)  

Emily McTernan, 'Microaggressions, Equality and Social Practices', Journal of Political Philosophy 26/3 (2018): 261-281  

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Week 5 - Community (I) - The Malaise of Modernity

Required Reading:

MacIntyre, A. After Virtue  (London: Duckworth, 1981/1985), Chapters 1-7, 9.  

Further Reading:

Barber, B. 'Abdicating Modernity' in The conquest of politics : liberal philosophy in democratic times  (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988).

Caney, S. 'Liberalism and Communitarianism: A Misconceived Debate', Political studies.  40/2 (1992): 273-89.

Horton, J. and Mendus, S. 'Alasdair MacIntyre: After Virtue and After' in J. Horton & S. Mendus (eds.), After MacIntyre : critical perspectives on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre  (Polity Press, 1994). (Contains several useful essays. See in particular, Wokler's 'Projecting the Enlightenment', and Frazer and Lacey's 'MacIntyre, Feminism and the Concept of Practice'.)

Mulhall, S and Swift, A. Liberals and Communitarians  2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), chapter 2 .

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Week 6 - Community (II) - Communitarianism and Political Community Today

Required Reading:

MacIntyre, A. After Virtue  (London: Duckworth, 1981/1985). Chapters 14-15 and 17-18.  

Further Reading:

MacIntyre, A. Whose justice? Which rationality?  (London: Duckworth, 1988), Chapter 18 ('The Rationality of Traditions' – on the question of relativism).

Stout, J. Ethics after Babel : the languages of morals and their discontents  (Boston: Beacon Press, 1988), Chapter 9 ('Virtue Among The Ruins').

MacIntyre, A. 'A Partial Response to My Critics' in After MacIntyre : critical perspectives on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre

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Week 7 - Citizenship (I) - Semi-Citizenship

Required Reading:

Elizabeth F. Cohen, Semi-Citizenship in Democratic Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2009). Chapters 1-4.       

Further Reading:

Danielle Allen, Talking to strangers : anxieties of citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Beiner, R. (ed.) Theorizing citizenship. Albany: SUNY Press, 1995.

Elizabeth F. Cohen & Cyril Ghosh, Citizenship. Cambridge: Polity (2019).   

Kymlicka Multicultural Citizenship, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Leydet, D. 'Citizenship', Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Ignatieff, M. The Needs of Strangers. London: Chatto & Windus, 1984.

David Miller, Citizenship and national identity, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000.

Judith Shklar, ‘American Citizenship’, Tanner Lecture 1989:

Rogers M. Smith, Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in US History. New Haven: Yale University Press (1997).   

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Week 8 - Citizenship (II) - Multicultural Citizenship

Required Reading:

Chandran Kukathas, ‘Are there any cultural rights? ’, Political theory. 20/1. 1992: 105-139  

Will Kymlicka, ‘The Rights of Minority Cultures: Reply to Kukathas’, Political theory. 20/1. 1992: 140-146.  

Jeff Spinner-Halev, The boundaries of citizenship : race, ethnicity, and nationality in the liberal state. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press (1994), chapter 5 - ‘The Ethnic Rejection of Liberal Citizenship’ OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (SRJ 18/12/2017)  Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

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Week 9 - Integrity (I) - The Problem of Dirty Hands

Required Reading:

Michael Walzer, ‘Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands’, Philosophy & public affairs.., 2/2. 1973: 160-180.  

Bernard Williams, ‘Politics and Moral Character’, in S. Hampshire (ed.), Public and private morality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1978) OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (SRJ 18/12/2017)    

Further Reading:

Coady, C.A.J. Messy morality : the challenge of politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2008).

Hollis, M. ‘Dirty Hands’ in his Reason in action : essays in the philosophy of social science: essays in the philosophy of social science Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1995) 

Johnson, P. Politics, innocence, and the limits of goodness. London: Routledge (1998).

Mendus, S. Politics and morality. Cambridge: Polity (2009).

Primoratz, I (ed.) Politics and morality [electronic resource] ISBN: 0230625347; 9780230625341 . Basingstoke: Palgrave (2006).

Rynard, P. and Shugarman, D. Cruelty and deception : the controversy over dirty hands in politics: the controversy over dirty hands in politics Broadview Press (1999)

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Week 10 – Integrity (II): Political Deception and 'Post-Truth' Politics

Required Reading:

Sissela Bok, ‘Lies for the Public Good’, chapter 12 in her, Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life. New York: Vintage Books (1999). OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (SRJ 18/12/2017)   

Derek Edyvane, ‘The Ethics of Democratic Deceit’, Journal of applied philosophy.. 32/3. 2015: 310-325  

Jacob Levy, 'Authoritarianism and Post-Truth Politics', Niskanen Center, 2016. on-line at:  

This list was last updated on 22/08/2019