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Social Bonds as Freedom: Revisiting the Dichotomy of the Universal and the Particular

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Social Bonds as Freedom

Revisiting the Dichotomy of the Universal and the Particular

Edited by Paul Dumouchel and Reiko Gotoh

296 pages, 4 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-693-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (August 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78238-694-0 eBook

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“This excellent set of essays offers a fantastic contribution to how we might consider the relation between the national and the global in modern political thought, written by many of the leading international figures in the field….A terrific resource for anyone interested in engaging more deeply with the ways we should conceive liberal democracy in light of globalization with far reaching implications for politics, philosophy and public policy.”  ·  Thom Brooks, Durham University

“This book contains the best and the most original and innovative contributions I ever read on how to consider national and global political issues beyond the current dichotomy we find in contemporary literature….The book will be an indispensable tool for all those who are interested in the future of Liberal Democracy…”  ·  Lukas K. Sosoe, University of Luxembourg


Central to discussions of multiculturalism and minority rights in modern liberal societies is the idea that the particular demands of minority groups contradict the requirements of equality, anonymity, and universality for citizenship and belonging. The contributors to this volume question the significance of this dichotomy between the universal and the particular, arguing that it reflects how the modern state has instituted the basic rights and obligations of its members and that these institutions are undergoing fundamental transformations under the pressure of globalization. They show that the social bonds uniting groups constitute the means of our freedom, rather than obstacles to achieving the universal.

Paul Dumouchel is Professor of philosophy at the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. He is the author of Le sacrifice inutile essai sur la violence politique (Paris: Flammarion, 2011) and The Ambivalence of Scarcity and Other Essays (Michigan State University Press, 2014) and co-edited with Rieko Gotoh Against Injustice the New Economics of Amartya Sen (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Reiko Gotoh is Professor at the Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo. She is the author of Economical Philosophy of Justice: Rawls and Sen (Toyo Keizai Shinposha, 2002, in Japanese) and co-edited, with Paul Dumouchel, Against Injustice: The New Economics of Amartya Sen (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and, with Amartya Sen, Well-Being and Justice (University of Tokyo Press, 2008, in Japanese).

Subject: Sociology


List of Tables

Introduction: Of Bonds and Boundaries
Paul Dumouchel & Reiko Gotoh

Part I: Social bonds in transformation

Chapter 1. Incompleteness and the Possibility of Making: Towards denationalized citizenship?
Saskia Sassen

Chapter 2. Justice and Culture: New contradictions in the era of techno-nihilistic capitalism
Mauro Magatti

Chapter 3. Bounded Justifiability: Making commonality on the basis of binding engagements
Laurent Thévenot

Chapter 4. On the Poverty of our Freedom
Axel Honneth

Part II: Beyond imperial universalism

Chapter 5. Western Humanitarianism and the Representation of Distant Suffering: A genealogy of moral grammars and visual regimes
Fuyuki Kurasawa

Chapter 6. Parochial Altruism and Christian Universalism: On the deep difficulties of creating solidarity without outside enemies
Wolfgang Palaver

Chapter 7. Partial Commitments and Universal Obligations
Paul Dumouchel

Chapter 8. A Reluctant Cosmopolitan
Anne Phillips

Part III: Towards a re-conceptualization of liberalism

Chapter 9. Liberal Autonomy and Minority Accommodation: A new approach
Geoffrey Brahm Levey

Chapter 10. Cultural Boundaries and the Reasonable Accommodation of Minorities: Is secularism enough?
Gurpreet Mahajan

Chapter 11. Arrow, Rawls and Sen: The Transformation of Political Economy and the Idea of Liberalism
Reiko Gotoh

Conclusion: Social bonds as freedom

Notes on Contributors

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