The Passion of Politics
This book examines the contemporary American political mind and its theoretical relevance for the global challenges through a series of conversations with three distinguished American political thinkers, Michael Walzer, Andrew Arato and Gene Sharp. The conversations with Walzer took place at Princeton in 2010. They were mainly focused on significant issues of political theory such as pluralism, democracy and justice. It goes without saying that a variety of issues discussed here by Walzer is strongly linked to the relevant questions of our world. The conversations were, therefore, placed in a larger globalizing context where the problems of democracy, violence and freedom become interconnected. However, Walzer’s analysis is completed by an additional analysis of war and peace in our world and the question of dignity of the individual through the work of Andrew Arato, a Hungarian born American political thinker. Arato’s work on Marxism, Habermas and constitutionalism presents itself as an appropriate supplement to the conversations with Walzer. The meetings with Arato took place in 2013 in New York. Arato reflections certainly represent another face of the early twenty-first century American political thought, which is also attentive to the issues raised by the recent wars in the Middle East and the Arab Spring. These considerations on the role of new social movements around the world and more specifically the legacy of pragmatic nonviolence were completed by a short visit to Gene Sharp in Boston few years before his decease. As a result, these conversations grew into a book which offers the reader, not only a more comprehensive view of the three American thinkers and their ideas, but also a panorama of the past eighty years of world politics and global affairs. At a broader level, this book is not only a series of conversations, but also a critical study of politics, both Western and non-Western, in the contemporary world.