By Romand Coles
In Beyond Gated Politics, political theorist and grassroots activist Romand Coles argues that the survival of democracy depends upon spotting the issues of disengaged liberal democracy—the exclusions and subjugations that accompany each democratic “we,” for example—and experimenting with extra radical modes of democratic conception and motion. between these introduced into the dialog are John Howard Yoder, John Rawls, Alisdair MacIntyre, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Audre Lorde.
Coles, whose paintings is deeply knowledgeable by way of his personal reports as an activist, will pay shut consciousness to the particular perform of democracy with specific curiosity in rising social activities. In doing so, he not just strikes past the paradigms of political liberalism, deliberative democracy, and communitarian republicanism, but additionally cultivates multidimensional modes of public discourse that replicate and maintain the inventive stress on the center of democratic existence and responsibility.
Romand Coles is professor of political idea at Duke college. His past books contain Rethinking Generosity: severe conception and the Politics of Caritas and Self/Power/Other: Political thought and Dialogical Ethics.
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Extra info for Beyond Gated Politics: Reflections for the Possibility of Democracy
And the mode I seek to cultivate is not confessional—or, better, it is not only confessional— but, rather, tensional, in the senses indicated by terms like traditio, Introduction xxxiii nepantla, and torn. In chapter 5, “Derrida and the Promise of Democracy,” I draw heavily on Derrida’s work on tradition, teleology, intersubjectivity, ideality, ethics, responsibility, alterity, and democracy to show how the democratic promise must be stretched between teleological and ateleological responsibilities and to show what this might mean for political thought, judgment, and practice.
To understand Rawls’s strategy here it is important to recall the two “fundamental questions” he seeks to answer in Political Liberalism. The Wrst is “about political justice in a democratic society, namely what is the most appropriate conception . . ” The second concerns the nature and grounds of toleration (3–4). These questions are deeply entwined. Without securing the latter, “no reasonable political conception of justice is possible” (xxviii); freedom and equality will be violated at the start as some people’s intolerant, comprehensive doctrine(s) gain constraining power over other people.
This leads each to avoid bringing— or allowing others to bring—the contestability of liberal presuppositions to the fore. Both approaches thus avoid fully engaging the challenges posed by the Mozert families, and this raises questions about the adequacy of their attempts to come to terms with the way radical plurality affects social and political life. After criticizing each of these approaches, we draw on both the theology of Yoder and the politics of nepantilist generosity to defend a response to these challenges that, in its greater desire to vulnerably engage otherness, is not only better able to respond to the challenges xxxvi Introduction of the Mozert case and others like it but also furnishes us with a more compelling approach to the numerous challenges of plurality and public life we currently confront.