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Liberalism, Diversity and Domination
Kant, Mill and the Government of Difference

$80.00 USD

  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108624916

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About the Authors
  • This study addresses the complex and often fractious relationship between liberal political theory and difference by examining how distinctive liberalisms respond to human diversity. Drawing on published and unpublished writings, private correspondence and lecture notes, the study offers comprehensive reconstructions of Immanuel Kant's and John Stuart Mill's treatment of racial, cultural, gender-based and class-based difference to understand how two leading figures reacted to pluralism, and what contemporary readers might draw from them. The book mounts a qualified defence of Millian liberalism against Kantianism's predominance in contemporary liberal political philosophy, and resists liberalism's implicit association with imperialist domination by showing different divergent responses to diversity. Here are two distinctive liberal visions of moral and political life.

    • Examines liberalism's relationship with diversity and difference to demonstrate the liberal responses to different forms of human diversity
    • Challenges widespread interpretations of seminal liberal thinkers to offer cohesive and comprehensive reconstructions of Immanuel Kant's and John Stuart Mill's moral and political philosophies
    • Proposes a new way of understanding the contemporary uptake of historical texts
    • Explains the connections between race, liberalism and empire
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Liberalism, Diversity, and Domination is a truly innovative take on European political theory's historical entanglements with empire. Marwah combines conceptual and contextual approaches to the history of political thought with a sympathetic attention to anti- and postcolonial criticism and a simultaneous unwillingness to abandon the promise of liberalism as an open and receptive political vision. The result is a compelling re-reading of John Stuart Mill's political theory that challenges the predominant tendency to dismiss his work as inescapably flawed by empire while also calling for greater reflection on the problems and possibilities of liberalism.' Jeanne Morefield, Whitman College, Washington

    'Inder S. Marwah offers a defense - at once passionate and qualified - of Millian liberalism as a valuable ethos for modern pluralistic societies, even as he takes stock of John Stuart Mill's own imperial commitments. This book is a useful provocation and a thoughtful, carefully argued, and independent-minded work of scholarship.' Jennifer Pitts, University of Chicago

    'In this brilliant intervention in the liberalism/postcolonialism debate, Inder S. Marwah defends two shocking (for the conventional wisdom) theses: that liberalism can indeed be retrieved for an anti-colonial project, but that John Stuart Mill - rather than Immanuel Kant - should be the Western figure revised and rehabilitated as an ally for the Global South. Canvassing a truly remarkable wealth of both primary and secondary literature, while developing an incisive line of argumentation of its own, this courageous and iconoclastic book will immediately become required reading for anybody interested in the past half-century's controversies on these issues.' Charles Mills, City University of New York

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108624916
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Unbending crooked timber
    3. Difference, diversity and exclusion
    4. Democratic character and the affective grounds of politics
    5. Complicating barbarism and civilization
    6. Millian liberalism
    7. Epilogue.

  • Author

    Inder S. Marwah, McMaster University, Ontario
    Inder S. Marwah is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at McMaster University, Ontario. He has published articles in political theory in leading peer-reviewed journals. His research focuses on the intersection of race, empire, and political theory, both in the history of political thought and in the present.

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