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Prominent political theorist defends democratic pluralism as a political stance

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Prelude 1
1. Pluralism and Evil 11
2. Pluralism and Relativism 38
3. Pluralism and the Universe 68
Interlude 93
4. Pluralism and Time 97
5. Pluralism and Sovereignty 131
Postlude: Belonging to Time 161
Notes 171
Index 187

About the Author

William E. Connolly is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. His most recent books include Neuropolitics: Thinking, Culture, Speed; Why I Am Not a Secularist; and The Ethos of Pluralization. His classic study The Terms of Political Discourse won the Benjamin Lippincott Award in 1999. He was the editor of the journal Political Theory from 1980 to 1986.


"Pluralism is a brilliant study. Powerful, cogent, and compulsively readable, it presents a strong case for a democratic pluralism that is worthy of embrace by all who think the fundamentalism of our age needs to be countered, not with more of the same from another direction, but with the best articulated and most profoundly true vision of another way of being together politically. If taken up, this book will change hearts and minds."--Thomas Dumm, author of A Politics of the Ordinary "If I were to pick an academic text as my political manifesto, if I were to look for a scholarly piece of writing which combined intellectual rigor and humility with incisive political analysis and practical effects, then Bill Connolly's Pluralism would be the one. It will become the touchstone for a range of debates in political theory around democracy, global politics, and the political virtues we require."--David Campbell, author of Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity "Pluralism is a practical intervention in the politics of antagonism in liberal democracies. William E. Connolly's openness to religious ways of being in the world is unusual in a political theorist. But that openness allows him to draw on a wide range of resources for practices of agonistic engagement among political rivals. Connolly has an exceptional ability to plumb ordinary experiences for nuances that help one to realize virtues of faith, forbearance, and respect. Here are agile reflections on how we might become better than we are. And, as ever, Connolly's style is warm, eclectic, honest, accessible, and somehow distinctly American."--Kathleen Roberts Skerrett, Department of Religious Studies, Grinnell University "William E. Connolly pursues his impassioned search for a renewed pluralism, beyond mere tolerance. In a world beset by easy answers and hard action, he argues eloquently for a 'multidimensional' ethos of openness, in acceptance of complexity. Against doctrine, secular or religious, he re-finds faith--in this world. A significant new philosophical statement by one of the foremost political thinkers of our time."--Brian Massumi, author of Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation "Connolly offers a concise new defense of democratic pluralism." --M. Coulter, CHOICE "William Connolly has been one of the most perceptive and creative political theorists writing about pluralism over the past fifteen years. In this new book he draws together the various different strands he has been weaving into a compact, intense, yet accessible assemblage of arguments, concepts, analogies, and metaphors defending a new vision of democratic pluralism. What is distinctive about Connolly's approach could be summarized thus: his argument is political and metaphysical."--Duncan Ivison, Political Theory

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