Political realism meets civic republicanism

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19 Scopus citations


The paper offers five desiderata on a realist normative theory of politics: that it should avoid moralism, deontologism, transcendentalism, utopianism, and vanguardism. These desiderata argue for a theory that begins from values rooted in a people’s experience; that avoids prescribing a collective deontological constraint; that makes the comparison of imperfect regimes possible; that takes feasibility and sustainability into account; and that makes room for the claims of democracy. The paper argues, in the course of exploring the desiderata, that a neo-republican philosophy of government does pretty well in satisfying them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-333
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Political realism
  • deontology
  • moralism
  • republicanism
  • transcendentalism
  • utopianism
  • vanguardism


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