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Liberal realismA realist theory of liberal politics$
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Matt Sleat

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088902

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088902.001.0001

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The Realist Challenge to Liberal Theory

The Realist Challenge to Liberal Theory

(p.71) 3 The Realist Challenge to Liberal Theory
Liberal realism

Matt Sleat

Manchester University Press

This chapter brings together the previous two by setting up the ‘realist challenge’ to liberal theory. It argues that realism's emphasis on disagreement and conflict makes untenable liberalism's consensus vision of the political, and sets out and counters three possible liberal defences of their position. The final section then discusses the difficulties in developing a realist theory of liberal realism if we abandon the consensus vision of the political, in particular for realising liberalism's central normative value of respecting the freedom of those over whom political power is employed.

Keywords:   Realism, Liberalism, Pluralism

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