“…[B]ecause we tend to think of morality both as forming a coherent whole and as dominating all other reasons for action, there are at least two different ways of stating the ‘dirty hands’ thesis. We may state it as the view that political reasons sometimes legitimately override the most serious moral considerations, or as the view that morality is divided against itself, with the virtues required by political life incompatible with what we think of as normal (or ‘private’) virtues. There is a third option, but it is less a formulation of the dirty hands challenge than a way of sanitizing its confrontation with morality. This is the option of treating the apparent clash between political and ordinary morality as reconciled by some overarching moral principle, such as the principle of utility.”—C.A.J. Coady
The second way of stating the “dirty hands” thesis above, that is, as “the view that morality is divided against itself, with the virtues required by political life incompatible with what we think of as normal (or ‘private’) virtues,” has been given the most explicit defense in the history of morality and political philosophy, and has been termed the “doctrine of double moral standards.” As Raghavan Iyer writes in his nonpareil examination, The Moral and Political Thought of Mahatma Gandhi (1983 ed.),
“[the] common contention that there are two levels or types or standards of morality, one for the individual in his private life and in his immediate surroundings, the other for political life and collective conduct. This standpoint has been stated plausibly over and over again, from Aquinas to Maurras, Kautilya to Tilak, Jowett to Niebuhr. Prudentia politica or niti is held to be the charioteer of other virtues, and adapts the natural law or dharma to raison d’état or artha. Politics may be subordinated, but it must not become subservient, to morals.”
The idea that there are two levels or standards of morality seems to have some intuitive appeal owing to our observation and understanding of conventional political life and life lived in the intimate sphere of the daily round, despite the fact that the former: political and collective conduct—clearly has enormous (and not just economic) consequences for the character and quality of the latter: the individual in private life—and the latter, at least when aggregated in the polling booth, or in the exercise of the capacity to grant or withhold political legitimacy, is causally connected to the former. In other words, causal arrows run in both directions, a fact that in significant measure was recognized in the feminist slogan, “the personal is political.” Conventional politics is often thought to be corrosive of our highest moral standards and virtuous behavior, and thus the interdependent relation between “the Good” and the “common good,” is weakend, and, it would seem, on occasion at least, severed. In the words of Matthew Flinders in Defending Politics: Why Democracy Matters in the Twenty-First Century (2012), “‘Politics,’ for the many rather than just a few has become a dirty word conjuring up notions of sleaze, corruption, greed, and inefficiency.” The belief that this is an accurate characterization of politics has pernicious effects, the foremost irony consisting in the fact that it infects the hoi polloi with attitudes of apathy and cynicism which, in turn, result in behavioral effects that only harm or weaken any attempts, be it by citizens themselves in civil society or politicians and officials in political fora, to enhance our individual and collective welfare and well-being, or increase the probability of or prospects for self-fulfillment and individual human flourishing. A sophisticated utilitarianism or consequentialism (see Goodin 1995) may often suffice as a default public philosophy for policymaking to the extent we cannot achieve an overlapping consensus in civil society regarding “the Good,” but there is no compelling reason why we need exclude moral appraisals grounded in individualist moral philosophies (virtue ethical or otherwise), the standards of which we apply to the personal or intimate realm of “private” life, but are often thought inapplicable or irrelevant to the wider world of conventional politics.
“[O]ne may readily concede that some areas of life lead to more frequent clashes between moral and non-moral values but we need to recall both that precisely which areas these are is a matter of historical contingency, and that frequency of confrontation need not correlate with frequency of justified overriding. Politics may be very bland as, I imagine, in Monaco, and private life can be a maelstrom of agonizing conflicts, as in a black ghetto or an Ethiopian village during famine. Moreover, where politics is morally perturbing it doesn’t follow that decisions against morality will necessarily be legitimate. Some area may be morally dangerous than another without being less morally constrained. Politics may often be sleazier than housekeeping without this fact licensing fewer moral constraints in politics. On the contrary, the more frequent temptation is, the greater, we might naturally suppose, the need for stern attachment to moral standards and virtue. (This was indeed the view of Machiavelli’s famous humanist contemporary, Erasmus, in his The Education of a Christian Prince).”
Moreover, the notion that politics is synonymous with sleaze and corruption, greed and inefficiency, that powerful governments in the modern world cannot but help but behave in the international arena according to the narrowly circumscribed (according to moral criteria) norms of “political realism” and Machiavellian power politics, is invoked by way of attempts—steeped in denial, self-deception, and wishful thinking—to wash our hands of all social and political responsibility for the current state of affairs, to cleave to the untenable belief that we’re somehow not implicated in the creation (and now maintenance) of contemporary socio-economic and political conditions, that it is not our fault things are such a mess. But I rather think it is a profound truth, however ill-understood, that to a great degree we get the governments we deserve, that all of us our implicated, directly and indirectly, and in ways not easy to discern, in the nature of the power exercised on our behalf, at least this strikes me as true in the affluent capitalist democracies (welfare states) in the northern hemisphere as well as not a few of the would-be democratic and emerging polities in the southern hemisphere.
Of course the mechanisms of representative democracy mean that others act on our behalf, that we’ve empowered, hence entrusted, others to solve the basic problems of collection action and to do the fundamental socio-economic and political work that largely determines the form, and much of the substance, of the common good. In other words, the constituent power of “the people” (so to speak, as we see below) is transformed, through the legal and constitutional orders of the democratic State, into the media of effective governance exercised in its (i.e., our) name. There are myriad ways we formally and informally confer legitimacy on the ongoing exercise of this sovereign power, and there are innumerable means available to us to determine and shape the quality and features of such governance, but most importantly, we’re open to conclude that if others have abused the power with which they’ve been entrusted by flouting the rule-of-law in the most egregious manner, that we may need to withdraw (or threaten to withdraw), our grant of legitimacy, our support in the name of “the people” or de-legitimize this once representative power. And we can do this simply because of the fact that ultimate power at all times resides in the hands of the masses, that the sovereign power is never, literally, an absolute power. The forms of power that exist at the heights of the political pyramid depend in significant and determinative ways upon the power at the base of the pyramid, even if the routine exercise of governance in the modern world make it appear as if all power emanates from sources at or near the top of the pyramid. In his study of the political philosophy of “poststructualist anarchism,” Todd May explains how thinkers like Foucault, Deleuze, and Lyotard, as well as the more sophisticated anarchist thinkers of our time, help us appreciate why and how power is not merely a suppressive force that we must oppose, after all, we created and now effectively sustain the power we’ve entrusted to others, and our inherent capacity to influence that power and even reconfigure it through constitutional change or revolution reminds us that power is not wholly monopolized by the legislative and administrative State, nor even, for that matter, by the transnational corporations or globetrotting financiers of postmodern and neo-liberal turbo-capitalism. Anarchists have always had a healthy suspicion, to put it mildly, of all conventional political power, but this should not lead us to conceptualize the nature of power as oppression through suppression in one way or another. In May’s words, “power not only suppresses actions, events, and people, but creates them as well.” It’s the “creative” part of the equation that we tend to forget or ignore when we demonize the powers-that-be, when we wash our hands of politics. So while a politician may be the quintessential political animal, all of us in fact are, as Aristotle famously said, political animals.
I cannot here attempt to summarize the intriguing conceptualization of power one finds among May’s poststructuralist anarchists. Instead, I’ll call upon Gandhi’s view that politics is not inherently or irremediably sinful or morally degrading, nor is it “intrinsically moral in its own way,” and thus to the extent that it is true that contemporary politics is corrupt, ineffective, and immoral (at least by the individualist moral criteria of virtue ethics or Kantian ethics), this is merely a contingent state of affairs, not a necessary truth about politics as such. Furthermore, those who are responsible for this sorry state of affairs are not simply those holding political and legal office, for we all are complicit in the causal processes and conditions that led to this state of affairs, hence we need to fully flesh out a notion of “collective responsibility,” one morally and methodologically grounded in individual responsibility so as to preclude rationalizations of lack of concern for involvement in “the political,” so as to exorcise once and for all any attempt to affect a stance of moral purity or absolution that serves, in turn, to sanction “dirty hands” of one kind or another. The fact that power does reside in the hands of “the people” means that we have the capacity to “purify” politics of all that is corrosive of moral principles and virtuous ways of living should we choose to do so. In this essay I will not discuss the possible means and methods of such “purification.”
We should hold uppermost in our minds the fact that while the State has a monopoly on the means of violence and is defined by a distinct form of legal and political power that may or may not be exercised for the common good, its corrupt and inefficient exercise, its more authoritarian and insidious forms can be resisted and transformed if not eliminated, should we come to clearly recognize the power we all possess and use that power in creative and constructive ways to engage in nonviolent resistance, to build alternative communities and institutional forms on the contested terrain of civil society. But this cannot take place in any significant or meaningful measure should we choose by design or in default act to ignore conventional power politics, to succumb to the social-psychological forces of cynicism, apathy, and despair which only serve to rationalize efforts to diminish or eliminate our complicity in, our partial responsibility for, the sorry state of affairs that afflicts the terms and conditions of the terrain on which we conduct our individual and collective lives.
The constitutionally constituted democratic sovereign State (the constitution of which need not be enshrined in one document), its de jure sovereignty, should be seen as existing in a public fiduciary relationship to its people. And it remains the case that all public power in part derives from and in the main relies upon, the people, even if “the people” as such did not literally consent or contract to the authority of the democratic constitutional State. Russell Hardin has convincingly demonstrated how a constitution does not require universal or even widespread agreement to come into being, indeed, we might say that the constitutional act itself is, in important respects, only nominally or presumptuously democratic, for “In many contexts a constitution does not even require majority support, it merely needs lack of sufficient opposition.” The terms of agreement in the case of a collective institution that has to govern all of us are typically not consensual or contractual, “it is only necessary for enough to agree or even merely to acquiesce for us to move ahead with our collective arrangements. Clearly this is what is done under a constitution in most cases: some fraction of those qualified to vote on an issue is all that is required to decide the issue.” The Constitution is not a sovereign act of “the people” in a literal sense, although it does constitute “the people” in a de jure sense, making possible the effective exercise of (deliberative, participatory, and representative) democratic power by virtues of its legal order and institutions. And although the resultant democratic State thereby directs, channels or harnesses the de facto “power of the people,” it can never wholly monopolize or eliminate that power. Most constitutions are therefore best understood as “coordinating conventions” from which “virtually all [of us] benefit” because of the regulative and political order they establish. This coordinating convention raised the cost of doing things some other way and makes clear the way in which “[o]ur interests will be better served by living with the arrangement:”
“And this is generally true not because we will be coerced to abide if we choose not to but because we generally cannot do better than to abide [just ask those living in real or hypothetical ‘states of nature’]. To do better we would have to carry enough others with us to set up an alternative, and that will typically be too costly to be worth the effort. Hence our constitutional arrangement is self-enforcing and is not subject to free-rider problems.” (Russell Hardin)
The ultimate source of sanctions in this instance is the “internal costs of collective action for re-coordination,” that is, mutiny, insurrection, rebellion, or revolution, all of which take place outside of the constitutional order and which hope to overthrow that order. In any case, de jure popular sovereignty is incoherent in theory and virtually impossible in practice, whatever the residual value of the rhetoric of “popular sovereignty,” for example, as a reminder of the de facto power in the hands of the masses:
“Popular control fails in principle for two quite different reasons. First, there are the standard problems of social choice, that popular views will commonly not aggregate into a collective view and that individuals will be motivated neither to understand public issues well enough to act on them nor to take action even when they do understand them. Secondly, there is the nature of institutional government. To be effective, government must work through institutions. But the structure and eventually the actions of institutions are substantially [I think this is a bit too strong] unintended consequences, the result of growth and not the outcome of popular choice or even any systematic choice at all.” (Russell Hardin)
Whatever the peculiar mix of and complex interactions between expressions and exercises of de jure democratic power (the constitutional legal and political order) and de facto democratic power (the implicit power in the hands of ‘the people’), we need to continually remind ourselves that
“[p]ower-holders are by no means free and impartial agents, commanding the actions of other by means of coercion, crude or subtle. Their range of choice is not as great or almighty as is often believed, and they are more the victims of movements and social attitudes than they know. As Meinecke recognized, ‘the subject people allows itself to be governed because it receives some compensations in return and…through the medium of its own latent impulses towards power and life also nourishes the similar impulses on the part of the rulers…. The ruler is transformed into the servant of his own power.’ The ruled, however, do not realize the extent of their power as they are overawed by the apparent omnipotence of State power. They come to conceive power as narrowly as their rulers; in this lies their real slavery, a product of ignorance rather than inherent weakness, of self-deception rather than self-denial.”
And thus I think we might endorse Flinders’ belief (and the actions that follow therefrom) that
“we must examine very carefully the claims of those who would do better [than our politicians] or who would turn their backs on politics completely. We must also challenge those who bemoan politics but in the next breath demand that the institutions of the state do more and more. Politics can and does make a positive difference to people’s lives. It delivers far more than most people in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other ‘disaffected democracies’ realize. …[And yet] while those who carp and criticize from the sidelines about the failure and limitations of democratic politics have shown a genius for demolition, there are still those who can undertake the far riskier business of reconstruction.”
In short, government is not the root of evil, government is not the problem (the companion proposition of the claim that it is in fact such a root, usually involves, deliberately or not, according the bulk of power to the capitalist marketplace and capitalists, be they high financiers or transnational corporations). And all parts of the political spectrum should give appropriate weight to both rights and responsibilities. A constitutional aversion to democratic politics or “anti-politics” is no panacea, indeed, its downright harmful in myriad obvious and not-so-obvious ways, and can only, in the long term, impede our struggle to realized a common good wherein collective welfare and well-being provide the necessary propitious conditions for individual human flourishing (eudaimonia), in other words, provide the social soil conducive to that form of moral development distinguished by self-identification and autonomous, self-directed living in which there is an interdependent division of labor (i.e., a community) with respect to the realization of objective values (in the sense that value both does and does not depend upon human subjectivity, as Linda Zagzebski has explained).
While the constitutional order is formal with regard to de jure power, our de facto power, be it unrecognized, infrequently or insufficiently exercised, in abeyance, what have you, should prompt us to appreciate the manner in which the state-subject relationship, the relation between ruler and ruled, between the government and its citizens, ultimately rests on a “presumption of trust rather than [explicit or implicit] consent,” a presumption that need not rely on an explicit declaration on our part, after all, we’ve already acquiesced to the prevailing democratic constitutional order, and “fiduciary doctrine does not require the beneficiary to make an explicit or public declaration of her trust in the fiduciary,” any more than a child does with its parent. As we saw in Russell’s explanation of the nature of the constitution as a coordinating convention, abidance by the consequent constitutional order is not the result of a contract or some hypothetical or real agreement between the parties. Similarly, “[n]or is an agreement between the fiduciary and the beneficiary necessary.” The duties and powers of the fiduciary relationship, like those that arise from the constitutional order, do not originate in an agreement, democratic or otherwise (although the specific duties and powers of the fiduciary relationship itself are legally and legislatively defined). Like the fiduciary relationship generally, in which beneficiaries are vulnerable to possible abuses of fiduciary power, so too citizens in a democracy are vulnerable to abuses of government power. But because we more often than not benefit (as the personified Laws reminded Socrates in the Crito) by living in a democratic polity in which representatives are entrusted to make judgments and exercise discretionary power on our behalf (and thus are ourselves not entitled to exercise that selfsame power), we abide by the laws, and our routine obedience confers legitimacy on the constitutionally constituted sovereign power, a legitimacy that can be withdrawn, but any such withdrawal must make an honest accounting of the costs of such withdrawal the endeavor to start afresh, which can be considerable, one reason we tend to “sacralize”our Constitution, perhaps an implicit admission of the many benefits that follow from living within a democratic polity, whatever its other failures, disappointments, and shortcomings in light of the pursuit of justice and the realization of our most cherished principles and values. With regard to the presumption of trust and the fiduciary relationship of this democratic constitutional order, we defer to Fox-Decent’s account in Sovereignty’s Promise: The State as Fiduciary (2011):
“Sovereign powers are…paradigmatically administrative in nature. It follows that when the state exercises these powers over legal subjects who are juridically incapable of exercising them, a pure fiduciary obligation arises. Because the obligation arises to protect the subjects interest in being a member of legal order rather than a purely coercive order (or no order), the content of the obligation is to govern in accordance with the rule of law.”
As long as the State is “rule-of-law” abiding, Fox-Decent reasonably argues, “individuals are not entitled to opt out.” The foremost reason why this is wrongful is that it “entails that private parties are entitled to set unilaterally the terms of their interactions with others; the resident dissident becomes the sole judge of her every cause,” a scenario that is not—as Kant explained so well and as Hobbes well understood—is not universalizable, at least insofar as it undermines or contradicts basic moral equality, one of the enduring insights of classical Liberal political philosophy. Paraphrasing the Kantian defense of the Liberal legal order, Fox Decent writes:
“The state resolves the problem of indeterminacy (and with it the problem of unilateralism) by setting out specific rules that will be use to apply general principles to particular facts. The state can thereby guarantee a regime of equal freedom in the sense that the freedom of each is made subject to the same reciprocal limits that apply equally to all. As a consequence, the (rule-of-law abding) state’s members enjoy a reliable and known framework of equal freedom from within which to plan their lives and interact with others….”
Our disaffection with politics and politicians, while understandable, conceals more than it reveals. And it can push some of the most passionately disaffected into solipsistic or anarchist positions (perhaps with corresponding attempts to justify political violence) that fail to appreciate the very real and hard-won benefits of a constitutional legal order. What, pray tell, does that mean? It means that before we rush to blame politicians and politics qua politics for all the muck and mire, we should take to heart the extent of our personal and collective responsibility for the state of affairs we find ourselves stuck in, however partial or unintended in its nature and effects. In addition, our world has been rapidly changing (at least since the 1970s) on many fronts, having to do in the first place with the nature of the global capitalist entrenchment and the pace of technological change, meaning that our challenges are greater and our problems more complex (and intertwined) in a way that more than ever before defies simplistic ideological classification and ritualistic reliance on the ways and means that once served us well (or well enough). This does not mean distinctions between the Right and the Left are now irrelevant, but that our philosophies and theories, our politics and policies, must be more imaginative, more courageous or daring in an experimental sort of way. It means that we may need to step out of the routine of our daily lives in order to once again join social movements or sacrifice more of our time to political matters, as we’ve done periodically throughout our nation’s history, and do this in a way that does not diminish the importance of conventional politics, the work of public servants, or the role of existing institutions. Indeed, if history teaches us anything, it is that those exercising conventional political power can be our allies in struggles for progressive change. Our expectations with regard to ourselves should grow, at the same time we should become more realistic if not modest about what to expect from our public officials, constrained as they are by having to govern in a social climate of disaffection, disloyalty, distrust, cynicism, anger, and despair, in a period of widespread economic uncertainty and insecurity which, in the short-term at least, will probably persist if not occasionally worsen. Those of us in the affluent nation-states of the northern hemisphere have to face a new global reality, one in which we are no longer the dominant players, and one in which there will be a movement toward equalization of global living standards and quality of life, and thus a more egalitarian global order of nation-states:
“The West has certainly enjoyed an extended and impressive era of global dominance, but the clock is running out on its primacy. As this new century unfolds, power will become more widely distributed around the globe. Countries that long operated in the shadow of Western hegemony are now entering the top ranks and expecting a level of influence commensurate with their position. [….] [T]he coming world will be both multipolar and politically diverse; it will consist of major powers that embrace distinct conceptions of what constitutes a legitimate and just order.” (Charles A. Kupchan)
This does not mean that the U.N. Security Council, for example, will disappear, only that it may evolve to better reflect the growing role of these new powers. Nor does it mean that global institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, or the World Trading Organization are obsolete, irrelevant, or doomed, only that the terms of their operation will probably be change so at to closer approach conditions of global fairness and justice. Allen Buchanan and David Golove have detailed how so-called Realists in international law and politics have typically drawn a meta-ethical conclusion from their descriptive explanatory accounts of international relations (or failed to see how these accounts were entangled in value perceptions and judgments), namely, “that morality is inapplicable to international relations.” Yet even Realists may be compelled to acknowledge that the course of events on the international plane is tending in a direction more conducive to a fairer or just society of nation-states, that is, one not wholly deferential to a neo-liberal political and economic order that preserves Western hegemony. We can, and should, remain committed to the universalizability of democratic ideals, principles, values, means, methods, and processes, and this commitment should also entail giving up the remaining articles of Western colonialism or imperialism, be they of neo-conservative or neo-liberal provenance. Kupchan rightly and unequivocally states that Westernization is not the same as democratization, and thus we might abandon the former for the sake of the latter.
We opened with a quote from C.A.J. Coady and we’ll close with a quote from him as well:
“We concentrate upon the particular act that will require dirty hands and ignore the contingency and mutability of the circumstances that have given rise to it. Yet it is precisely these circumstances which often most deserve moral scrutiny and criticism, and the changes which may result from such criticism can eliminate the ‘necessity’ for those types of dirty hands in the future.”
All of us bear responsibility for enagaging in this requisite moral scrutiny and criticism, as well as possess an obligation to work for the changes implied by such appraisal. Even if we refuse to believe we have directly or indirectly contributed to the appearance of the immutability of the background circumstances in which our politicians act and which are liable to give rise to dirty hands apologias, we can still do everything in our power to change those circumstances.
References and Further Reading:
- Barry, Christian and Thomas W. Pogge, eds. Global Institutions and Responsibilities: Achieving Global Justice. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.
- Buchanan, Allen. Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination: Moral Foundations for International Law. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
- Buchanan, Allen and David Golove. “Philosophy of International Law,”in Jules Coleman and Scott Shapiro, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002: 868-934
- Coady, C.A.J. “Politics and the Problem of Dirty Hands,” in Peter Singer, ed., A Companion to Ethics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1991: 373-383.
- Coady, C.A.J. “Dirty Hands,” in Robert E. Goodin and Philip Pettit, eds. A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1993: 422-430.
- Coady, C.A.J. Messy Morality: The Challenge of Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
- Coady, C.A.J. Morality and Political Violence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
- Coady, C.A.J. (Tony), “The Problem of Dirty Hands,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2009/entries/dirty-hands/.
- Flinders, Matthew. Defending Politics: Why Democracy Matters in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Fox-Decent, Evan. Sovereignty’s Promise: The State as Fiduciary. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
- French, Peter A. and Howard K. Wettstein, eds. Shared Intentions and Collective Responsibility. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006.
- Goodin, Robert E. Utilitarianism as a Public Philosophy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
- Hardin, Russell. Liberalism, Constitutionalism, and Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
- Holmes, Stephen. Passions and Constraint: On the Theory of Liberal Democracy. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
- Iyer, Raghavan. The Moral and Political Thought of Mahatma Gandhi. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1973.
- Kupchan, Charles A. No One’s World: The West, The Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Kutz, Christopher. Complicity: Ethics and Law for a Collective Age. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
- List, Christian and Philip Petit. Group Agency: The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Lloyd, S.A. Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes: Cases in the Law of Nature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
- May, Larry. Sharing Responsibility. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
- May, Todd. The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994.
- Miller, Richard W. Globalizing Justice: The Ethics of Poverty and Power. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
- Norton, David L. Democracy and Moral Development: A Politics of Virtue. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991.
- Nussbaum, Martha C. Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011.
- Ripstein, Arthur. Force and Freedom: Kant’s Legal and Political Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.
- Santos, Boaventura de Sousa, ed. Another Production is Possible: Beyond the Capitalist Canon. London: Verso, 2007.
- Santos, Boaventura de Sousa and Cesar A. Rodriguez-Garavito, eds. Law and Globalization from Below: Towards a Cosmopolitan Legality. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
- Sher, George. Beyond Neutrality: Perfectionism and Politics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
- Tuomela, Raimo. The Philosophy of Social Practices: A Collective Acceptance View. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
- Tuomela, Raimo. The Philosophy of Sociality: The Shared Point of View. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
- Waldron, Jeremy. Law and Disagreement. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.