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Title: Making sense of pluralism
Author: Hiruta , Kei
ISNI:       0000 0003 7835 1372
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Political theorists in the last few decades have developed three distinct kinds of pluralism, as they attempt to imagine a political life appropriate for an increasingly complex world characterised by the excessively unifying forces of globalisation and the potentially divisive forces of mass migration and multiculturalisation. 'Value pluralism' theorises the inherently conflicting nature of human value, providing us with a way of approaching moral, cultural, and political conflict; 'democratic pluralism' considers the nature of intermediate groups in civil society and their role to viable democratic politics; and 'agonistic pluralism' commends an ideal of democratic life where citizens actively and expressively engage in political activities to acquire a sense of identity and solidarity. Contemporary debates over value, democratic and agonistic pluralisms have taken place largely in isolation with each other; this thesis challenges the convention and offers a first comprehensive analysis of the contemporary pluralist ideas and their simultaneous emergence in the mid-twentieth century. The first part of the thesis discusses the pioneering formulations of value, democratic and agonistic pluralisms in the works of Isaiah Berlin, Robert Dahl, and Hannah Arendt, and analyses how those works have shaped the post- ,;.. 1980s debates. The second part considers why multiple kinds of pluralism emerged as they did in the 1950s and 1960s. It argues that Berlin, Dahl and Arendt all appealed to the idea of 'the plural' as they attempted to propose antidotes to multi dimensionally monist totalitarianism, and that they formulated different pluralist antidotes because they theorised the nature and role of political theory differently and accordingly focused on different aspects oftotalitarianism. The lesson to be learnt from the mid-twentieth century is that real-world changes pose complex monist challenges to multiple aspects of life, so that those who care about pluralism must overcome today's fragmentation of pluralist discourses and become acquainted with diverse vocabularies to mobilise multiple pluralist ideas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available