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Beyond Monologue: For a Comparative Political Theory

Author(s): Fred Dallmayr
Source: Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Jun., 2004), pp. 249-257
Published by: American Political Science Association
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Amongthe panelistswere who offered leadingAmericanpoliticaltheorists thoughtful and well-informed reflections on manytopicsin the long the panelistsalso historyof politicalthought. ofSeptember11 and theirglobalrepercussions. 1@nd.ManythingshavehappenedsinceStrausspenned In thewakeoftheevents hisessay.whatone maycall an professional June2004 1Vol.2 Giventhisorientation. butwith theproposal Theessay advances thatisaddressed primarily implications profession: ofroutinized canons witha turn toglobal. historically amongdifferent. BeforeI proceed.Sharedmeanings and practices-totheextentthattheyarepossible-can only arisefromlateralinteraction. undergirding highlighting tocritical aswellasindicating conclude broader ofthemove"beyond byresponding queries implications monologue. process ongoing globalization. sophicalinspirations broaderpoliticalimplications. Amongprominent contemporary approaches. growncultural in turn. 06 Mar 2015 18:11:05 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ."or global civilsociety. prompting political science-particularly attenpoliticaltheory-isproperly tivetothe"burning" issuesofourtime. After somerecent I examples political inspirations theorizing.Next. thegrowing and interpretation ofculproximity turesandtheemergence ofwhatMarshallMcLuhancalledthe tohegemonic andimperialist modes "globalvillage. commustnecessarily be multilingual and wellparativetheorists trainedin translation.70 on Fri.meansthatthebasicapproachfavored bycomparative is. geopolitical ofcomparative orphilosophical theturn. implicationsfortheentireprofession ofpoliticalscience:to replace orsupplement therehearsal ofroutinized canonswitha turnto or"comparative" I first global. random data At the same and time. Dee Professor in theDepartmentsofPoliticalScienceand Philosophy at theUniversity of NotreDame (dallmayr. revealeda deep-seated bias. a leading featureda panel whose topic was professional organization "What Is PoliticalTheory?"The panel attracteda large audience-and appropriately so.cross-cultural political theorizing.Leo Straussconcludedone of his essayswiththefamousstatement thatpolitical science"fiddleswhileRome burns.buthiswordsarestilltimely. thetermimpliesthatone segment oftheworld's populationcannotmonopolizethelanguageor idiomof the emerging"village. At politicaltheory. comparativetheory called"forclearly departsfromwhatis commonly mal theory. DialogueamongCivilizations: otherthings.Finally.By thisterm.Nevertheless. among FredDallmayris thePackeyJ. hisphrasehas even to ask whether us acquired greater urgency."'The phrasewas intendedto stirtheprofession fromtheprevailing slumberof from the and mindlessness induced positivism behavioralism.2/No.Is itproperly responsive totheSocraticchallenge ofcritical In an effort politicalinquiry? to fostersuch responsiveness. offer somereasons andmotivations whysucha turnseemsapprooftheoretical and philopriatetoday. the Straussmeant phraseto be a clarioncallforfelspecifically. perhapsmore by gathering. Ineluctably. the vast terrain covered although by cross-cultural limitstherangeof lincomparisonnecessarily ofanyoneperson. thisessayadvancesa proposal addressed to butonethatcarries chiefly politicaltheorists.letme briefly sketchmyunderstanding of cross-cultural or comparative the contours of politicaltheory.His mostrecentpublication is Some Exemplary Voices.I meana modeoftheorizing thattakesseriously the of a mode which entails. why appropriate rizing.128." orethanfourdecadesago.3 Theoristsneedtosteer guisticcompetence a middlecoursebetweennarrowareaspecialists and abstract while the former the thelatter generalists: slight "theoretical.thereby itsdebtto the univerrevealing salistclaimsoftheEuropeanEnlightenment." miss the "comparative" componentof comparative political theory. whichwill emergemorefullyin subsequentdiscussions.Fora Comparative Articles I BeyondMonologue: Political Theory BeyondMonologue:Fora Comparative PoliticalTheory By FredDallmayr fortheentire a proposal totheorists. lowpolitical theorists torecapture theSocratic dlanoftheirenterthemeaningandmoraldirection of prise:thetaskofunraveling politicallife.or "hermeneutical"-that relieson mutualinterpretation. This."In contrast oftheorizing. and contestation negotiation. frameworks. it politicaltheoryis dialogical.32." whichimposesa 249 This content downloaded from 144. its annual meetingin the late summerof 2001.I discussa variety thatbuttress I exploreits theturn.universal"form"on diversephenomena. cross-cultural theoorsupplement therehearsal toreplace (or"comparative") political I offer seems andI discuss a variety oftheoretical intellectual reasons theturn andgeneral today. Some Contemporary Motivations Thereare manyreasonssupporting the turnto comparative one of themis September11.

includingculturestudiesand postcolonialstudies.4Barely tendaysafterthemeeting. theorists felt the comsame and were hence political pressure to reconsider canonical attachments.dedicatedto examiningtheinterconnection societies betweenWesternand non-Western and contestation 250 inourtime.This philosophical sea-changeincluded:the so-calledlinguisticturn(the turn to language)associatedwithLudwig fromego consciousness a host of and subsequent philosophers.hostsof culturalanthropologists ofculturalidiomsand in therichtapestry themselves immerse aroundtheglobe.or predominance over.Eurocentrism. (interpretation by Edmund Husserl.Althoughoftenshieldedbyivory-tower the with to tions.9 The combination oftheseacademicandnon-academic developmentswas bound to put pressureon politicalscience.8Religiousstudieshasforsometimefostered broad cross-cultural rich harwhichsometimes yielda perspectives.He explicitly thatis.sinceitsfoundethnological ing. however. through Perspectiveson Politics This content downloaded from 144. metaphysical aimingat the critiqueof traditional withmodThese different orientations sharea dissatisfaction ern Westernegocentrism (stylizedin Descartes'sego cogito) Sometimesall these seaand its corollary. which.a seniorpolitpanel globally-induced professional words likeme was bound to recallLeo Strauss's ical theorist of a othercertain of severaldecadesago regarding "fiddling" wisewell-intentioned professionals. upshot pressure ativepolitics.Anthropolcross-cultural unfolding ogywas theleadingdisciplinein thisrespect. in a work. 06 Mar 2015 18:11:05 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .The verystarting pointof existence of human formulation philosophy-his Heidegger's him at odds with Cartesian as being-in-the-world-places into the byinserting "thinking ego"immediately metaphysics a world contextcomposedof societies.politicaltheorists persuaded chieflythoseproonly by properlytheoretical arguments.he collaborated of the Tao Te Ching.articulated exemplary interviews field for these studies.and describedthe methodhe adopted in nature. pointing an openingof theWesttowardthe rest. asa result ity. ofdialoguein launchedas a strictly Western (orevenAmerenterprise initially The first of such wascomparican)discipline. global standardization sive Europeanization. the hisgrowingconof his years.fellowbeings.and with the role of languagein cross-cultural understanding. international anddisturbing landscape." intoretreat.therest.a subfield basedon empirical analysisandlargely weddedto Westernconceptualmodels.or "liberation.theterrorist attacksof September 11 tookplace.includingCliftraditions methfordGeertzandMarshallSahlins.America'svulnerability ofthatday. At "order"thathadprevailed international iseroding thesametime. the beginning. is replete and century philosophy European Anglo-American withguideposts to a more cross-cultural orientation." ofcultures mentandparticipation at thejunctureoflocaland globalconcerns. translation scholarin the(uncompleted) withprogresIn subsequentdecades. Althoughattentive some of the motivations are ultimately discussedso far. ethnic and worldweresuffering cleansingon a scale genocide The combiofsharedstandards.The factthatthecountry thedramaticrevelations has is inexorablypart of the globalizingworld necessarily as well as political.Surely.Witnessing a and attack. he urgeda new In response. andpeople"ontheground.September 11wasonlya particularly striking sympLikea bolt tomwithina hostofcomplexglobaldevelopments. probablytheleadingphilosopher Fromthe pursuedand fleshedout his teacher'sphilosophy.manyacademicdisciplines began keeppace and globalizingscenario.Gadamerhas stressedhermeneutics: an intensive endeavorto gainunderstanding dialogue.therapidexpansionofglobalmarkets the world and around of nation-states structure thetraditional and newformsofglobaleconomichierarchy inequalcreating nationalindeofthesechangedconditions.thoughnurturedby local culthinking. As it happens.hermeneutics deconstruction ofpragmatism andpostmodern andfacets (both premises).10 Heidegger'sstudentand associateHans-GeorgGadamer.Fora Comparative Articles I BeyondMonologue: Political Theory to familintellectual bylimitingthemselves inhospitableness: iar theoriesof the Western"canon"(fromPlato to Rawls). especially odologicalguideposts and "hermeneutical" understanding. witha Chinese AftertheSecondWorldWar. whatSamuelHuntington termed illustrated theyinadvertently theWest'sexclusionof.particularly philosophical changesconverge single in the case of MartinHeidegger.sometimes edents. a "hermeneutical Time as and phenomenology. Influencedby post-colonialism suchscholarslaunchednew increased globalcommunications.the fieldhas been committedto far-flung studies. fieldsofacademicinquiry. thatis." "planetary hostileparochialisms turalidioms.othersocialscientists adding and a more politicaledge. we shouldnote a certain to peculiarity. phenomWittgenstein enology(thestudyof themeaningof phenomena)launched theory). pelled PhilosophicalSources of Inspiration When turningto politicaltheory.he becamepreoccupied under that is. vestofinter-religious comparisons.70 on Fri. colonialmodesoftutelage observThoughtful awareoftheneedtoimagine ersofthesechangesareincreasingly or even inter-civilizational and cultivatenew cross-cultural intheactiveengagethistimegrounded bondsandarrangements.Atthesametimeas the UnitedStateswasbeingattacked manypartsofthe byterrorists. seriousprofessional ofa Western-focused thejuxtaposition sequences. thatbeliesfacileassumptions fabricof nationofepisodesofthiskindchallengedthefragile sinceWorldWarII. theaegisofWesterntechnology.thetrajectory thoughtreflected of the cernwith the widercontext globalizingworld.twentieth videdby contemporary philosophy.128." Being Over human of as an interpretive study world-experience.would transcend through dialogicalengagement. eclipsedbytheupsurgeofmultiplepost-and neoandsubservience.' Buildingon theseprecfollowedsuit.Leadingscholars. thecontoursofa rapidlychanging itilluminated oflightning.theconsequencesof whichwe are stilltrying was one of to unraveltoday. To besure.EversinceEdwardTylor'sworkon and ethnographic and Malinoski'sjourneyto theTrobriand cultures" "primitive havebeen eagerto Islands.Eventually.6 The dramasoftheagewereboundto intrudeintoacademia convenin due course.conand theoretical.32.5Partly haveoftenbeenforced movements pendence.

ingredient He the more concrete crossmore to In reccross-cultural inquiry. expeprivileged riencesin an age ofglobalization. essaytitled"What is ComparativePhilosophyComparing?"attackedthewidein thiswaycan we "learnto addresstherightquestionsto our and be rewarded religioustradition byanswerstrulyadequate spreadtendencyto includecomparisonin a hegemonicand to ourpresentsituation.J. As he wrotein a well and Gadamer's have been received text on modern social "How we can someunderstand science. him?"'16 by re-interpreted sacrificing logic to assimilaterealityquicklyto our ideas. subsequently developed hospitable "heading" learning.." 13 universal supposedly metaphysics.As he oncewrote:"Forall non-Western civrienceand its incessanttestingof theselfthroughtheother howeverdecrepit orwounded. required. bertoday.. parochialisms sequestered concepts categories put views. [as] an absolute in considerable time and where he observer. fdrance self-contained identities or invariant bearand allowedto be testedagainstunfamiliar meaningstrucperspectives rigidly ina sharedsearchformeaning.betweenselfand other. abstract metaphysical in traditional entrenched and worldand need to be or at least"subaside.1 in thelaborofconcrete"lateral"interactions. thinking personand theotherpersonthroughtheself. Nor was it a matterof forginga hastyfusion-or intoview lated. or thismomentofworldhistory. Mehtalater the object of its investigations at will .he Heideggerian impulseshave not fostereda philosophical cannot noted.familiarassumptions." itsdesireto developments exert control "by striving losophyand Frenchphenomsinglephilosophy. turalframeworks.Raisedin India socialsciencehas tendedto proceed"as ifit could roamover and initially trainedat BanarasHindu University. interpretation longer optional methodology Europe." anddeconstruction. Comparativestudies.bringing is What and in of .32. meantto unsettle ment." As an antidote to this America. . In suchan engage.buta sortof nificanceof theirthoughtnot forpassiveimitation.Wittgenworld. sea-change they were fruitfullyassisted by versalization characteristic of that method reduces allvisions totheviewofone inlanguagephiWesternculture. Mehta Preferring is a good exampleof thiscreativereception. nor to become Vedanta.view of one singlephilosophy. oped the implications his idea of "heteroglossia" Truthand underscored theneedformulti-lingual and alienlife-forms."12 For Mehta.. phiown fashion. theyarenowfreeto thinkforthemselves. see that. (radicalself-difference). In towarda globalpictureof the enology theformer domain. throughconcreteexistential are broughtto or "prejudices.Maurice Merleau-Ponty."A basic endeavorof contextualized humanreasonand thesubhis essaywas to debunkthispretense: stein'slaterwritings "Comparative philosoofgrammar andmultiple phycannotaccepta methodthatreducesall visionsto the jectofcognition(cogito)as functions As an "languagegames.are therebyintegrated "Comparative accepta philosophy into "thethrusttowardunibythemselves.Drawingout thepoliticalimplications of thisnotion." in particular.2 251 This content downloaded from 144. rida's older compatriot.L."18 Spanish-IndianscholarRaimundoPanikkar [ofthe usedparallel Panikkar's instructive and religious] West]and thelegacyofthe[cultural past.15 in culturaland multicultural of this view a numthis the book sustained the of implications ommending change. again compromise thinking actuallybeen realizedin miscalled but rather "a relentless still remains unsaidandso unthought in thetradition onciliation."" described abovepavedthewayfor Combined. 06 Mar 2015 18:11:05 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .whichsoughtto extricate it insteadas the the straitjacket of Eurocentrism."RussianlinguistMikhail Bakhtindevel. 'synthesis'. sureto thetensionbetweenthescientific consciousness of the East."or meta-philosophy.whichpresented Derrida'sThe OtherHeadingurgeda basic repositioning of no as an academic or the in the world.L. spent Europe gained approach.theinitiatives bymakingthem bringshope. Such a would West. betweenindigenoustraditions idiomsand culfromthisvantagepoint.his keynotionof difengagement.cannotbe garnered translatable) bya retreat dialoguesbetween(onlypartially forhis Westernmentors.128..He repeatedly acknowledged archinguniversal objectivemethod. repositioning butas a constitutive ofhumanexistence andhuman witha different replaceitsroleas "capstone. ways speaking thematarticulating contemporary in his is "no facile or recter of in what has words.was neitherto discardall indigenoustraditions of the supremacyof Westernmodernity. the and confronted thechallenge losophy.workpointedin a similardirection.14 butonly In the Frenchcontext. legacy Derber of writings.70 on Fri.2/No.of sucha mode ofphilosophizing in favor Heidegger'sthoughtwiththe complextraditionof Indian ophy.Western India. betweenreaderand text.JacquesDerrida's ora "viewfromnowhere."Only arguments.Indianphilosopher J. in their properly cross-cultural orinter-civilizational comparative."or headmaster. but for lateraluniversal whichwe acquirethrough ethnological expecreativerenewal.In suchan attempt." intoneutralspectatorship. June2004 1Vol. andpractices Gadamerfamously tures. Heidegger teachings andcreatively in numerous thinkers East one else him without to our or it to Asia.. herealized.of thismovestillmoreresolutely." expothought.and theMuslimworld. confusion-shortchanging reciprocalquestioning. especially planetary philos. Mehtaunderstood taskof contemporary whenhe triedto compare philosophy.Heidegger's ilizations.Merleau-Ponty proa thorough ofWestern of and especially "nolongertheoverknowledge philosophy posedan alternative pathto theuniversal: thesigof a strictly Heideggerand Gadamer."to achievethegoal of "setting free. outlinedthisapproachin Truth and Method.whose especiallyin a volumetitledThe Legacyof on languageandculture we urgently needtorememEurope(or theWest)from reflections Europe. which.Merleau-Ponty's taskhad beento resistthelureofa presenting or hegemonicspectatorship and to engageinstead readyfornewlearning symbolofmulticultural diversity.

"politicsof difference" but does not amountto an endorsement that. As he wrote in 1989. it assumesthatmodernWesterntextsare"products As and recognition.Giventhisnarrowfocus.thethingsoursignificant politicaltheorizing with.the canonizationof the modern whicharechiefly forthe or hegemonic" thatprivileges ofinternational West. comparative overcoming as of "ethnocentric chauvinism" and "facelessuniversalism. Hayden Jung or of mode diatactics "diatactical.Parelfound"mounting manihumanlifeis "itsfundamentally are "questionedby otherculWesternclaimsof universality dialogicalcharacter. a mode of interview.24 wellas thedead-endsofOrientalism the datedthisshiftand cleareda pathforothersbyco-editing comes "transversal" studies Studies Another first bookin thisfield. lieu of an abstract"difference pluralism. be "inter-connected thoroughstudyofWesternpoliticalthought(witha focuson he Parelsubsequently shifted Employing suchtermsas "transtopia" and "transversality. meantan approachthattakes ideasofindividual Taylorprefers politicalphilosophy comparative and philosophical plementthe liberal"politicsof equal dignity"witha sturdy "thevalidityof culturalpluralism seriously of rela."22Payingheedbothto equivalences boundto enrichscholarship.In lightofthisdisciplinary scientific.blindness.modernWestern has tended to be thinking monological and "logocentric" on thecogito).70 on Fri. observed. reflects theconviction"thatwe cannotescapetakinga stand somewhere whenwe philosophize" and thatsucha limitation makesour theorizing "relativeto similarenterprises undertakenfromdifferent thusdoes angles."23 standingand respectforthetraditions Korean-American HwaYolJungundertook politicaltheorist a parallelforay mainstream atroughly canons thesame beyond time. Aquinas.21 Although acknowledg." However.The proper in Panikkar's methodto be pursuedin thesebordercrossings." but ratherinvolvescontinuous bordercrossingand negotiationof boundaries. followingEric he termed it was Thus. only todo withthe somedelay."all of whichrenderscomparative against. fromhis as an individualand as a culture. allow(centered ComparativePoliticalTheory thereby their and reason" to thedanger philosophical politicalimplications..givena powerfulboostto cross-cultural. thatis. "equivalences."19 also possibleoverlapsor similarities-what.andMachiavelli).sometimes themodern ForParel."Multiculturalism but comparisonhad to explorenot onlyexistingdifferences 252 on Politics Perspectives This content downloaded from 144. otherswantto see in us. scholarson orfromtheperiphery or a conceptionof Canadian-Indianpoliticaltheorist AnthonyParelis a good parativestudywith"relational ontology.including self-image orien. difference in a collective arena-and enceis aboutpowerand itsexercise has out of this the recently." modeofphilosophizing fromthe (imparative Latinimparare." More streamself-image.lateralway of interpreting after natureofacademicpoliticalscience.Evenstudents ter. Aristotelian and the Confucian politikos junzi.Indiandharma and the pre-modern Westernnotionof 'naturaljustice. "to Such a he mode.fromthe Canadian politicaltheoristCharlesTaylor.Europeor theWestas the "cultural. religiousand net of efforts moral mecca and of the world.especiallyan alienculture." to everything else"in theworld. study sively or "multicultural. "potential forming defining ingthedistancesbetweenculturalframeworks. meaning learn")." for one's own the and Parelbelieved identity. To counteract thesespecters." ferential. Taylor's philosophical politicalthought." (where theorizing meansa concrete-experiential formofencounter)." casein point. mostpartsharethisoutlook."20 today"bothopportune to supfreedom andequality. The basicaimofthevolumeis againto "decenattracted andattachedtowhatarecalledthecorridors locatednowadaysin theWest." He soon valiing specialattentionto East Indiantraditions." thatis.Comparative majorimpulsepromoting PoliticalPhilosophy: UndertheUpasTree(1992)." Aristotle. instance.e."Dialogicalcomparison notpretendto possess"a fulcrum outsidetimeand spaceand aboveanyotherphilosophy. guideposts ingdetached "disembodied Despite generate ofthiskindhavereachedpoliticalscientists and theorists ofethnocentrism andEurocentrism. 06 Mar 2015 18:11:05 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .or at leastwithitsmainculture. andcherish seeksto "maintain distinctness".scholarship creatively reinterpreted. or "imparative. Globalization.rootedin the Hegeliantradition.thesescholarstendto be ofpower.128.32." ofuniver. work has well as in recent Western of modern the to mean hermeneutics. in politicaltheory duction.Havingin hisearlier yearsimmersed accordingto whicheverything "interbeing." his that the is it not tation.'the Islamic prophet-legislator and the Platonic philosopherand differences was king."Withoutshortchanging andintellectually satisfying.basedon theprincipleof In theviewof a "diatopicalhermeneutics": whenthedifference to be negotiated is "the pretation required whichhaveindependistancebetweentwo(or more)cultures dentlydevelopedin different spaces(topoi)theirownformsof of and philosophizing ways reachingintelligibility. and Occidentalism." alternative. heterology). the twin with orcross-cultural credits hisresearch towardcomparative theory paydangers inquiries." inthefactthat"wedefineouridentity fested of thesecultures.thisassumption dialogicalencounter of he wrotein a famousstudyon thattopic:a crucialfeature evidence"to suggestthat ous. In fact. studieshighlighting hasbecomedubisal reasonitself. Jung spelled implications approach in a volumetitledComparative PoliticalCulturein theAgeof nothingelse."or call into question. capital pioneering Casting cultural surprising many Dussel launched wide-from the Latin American thinker have been towardcomparative by very Enrique politicaltheory to theVietnamese Thich Nhat Hanh-Jung now linkscomofthecorridors ofpower.its"narcissistic globaldevelopment. tivismorradicalincommensurability.Relyingon Continental on and the workof philosophy historian the notion of introduced a "difWhite.Articles I BeyondMonologue: Fora Comparative Political Theory Panikkar delineated whathe termeda "dialogical. Voegelin." possibleto discover fruitful resemblances for "the bycomparing. As he notedin thebook'sintro. byenablingone to both"deepen ofone'sowntradition andengender underone'sunderstanding ofothers.or at leastby significant alwaysindialogue representatives in struggle tures.Thisdelaymayhavesomething diatacticschampionsa "new. politics." himself in a must"inter-be.Deeply as hascomealmostexclu.politicalsciin theHeideggerian sense(i.

and numerousothers.29 Western politicaltheorycan findresonance general. thegreatfeminist universal congress feminism cannotbe monopolized AmerbyWestern (especially ican) women. difference. Oakeshott.I notetheformer mentioned. briefly Amongan older oftheorists.128.Parekhdevotedhisearlycareer to a sustainedimmersion in Westernpoliticalthought. giving to theworksofJeremy attention Bentham. thatis. through manypeople convergence all around. "melting thatweareveryfar Itis"anadmission processacrossboundaries. Yetmy everyaccountis bynecessity wouldbe seriously remissifI did notrefer atleast presentation tosomeothersignificant contributions. and precisely claimedbythe beyondthespurious"universality" traditionally Westerncanon and by some recentintellectual movements.makingthe enterprise Beforeturning to youngerscholarsin particular.theinescapability and desirand intercultural abilityofculturaldiversity dialogue.31 and Thomas Asia. discussionis underwayamongsuchtheorists Hahm Chaibong.Taylorhasengagedin comparative inquirieson manylevand betweenAnglophone els. Universalfeminism is a casein point. or whoseconceptionofuniversalism is Those who claimto be universal reallyuniversal? monopolize excludeall universalism."Contrary will not come world think.33 attractive of thesedevelopments."27 play The preceding cannotand does surveyofpoliticaltheorists not claim to be exhaustive. or Shunningmonopolistic monological all we can plausiblyand honestly do is seekunivergestures. 06 Mar 2015 18:11:05 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . his focusto thelegacyof Gandhi ened his horizons.emergingas a viablefieldin thedisciplineof politicalscience."28Partly following has focusedprimarily on Islamic cetera.or a does not implyan "anything goes"relativism perspective an rather but learning open-minded pot"confusion.butratherbycreative a lossor denialoftraditions of different reimmersions groups.therelabetween and theapprotionship pluralismand universalism. a structure of multicultural the priate society. modernity.he thenbroadandHannahArendt.Severaloutletsforpublicationare now available. andresponsiveness Thus.MoroccanMohammad IranianAbdolkarim Soroush.Such theorizing. we shouldfirstconsidercriticalqueries.Clearly.hiswritings on al-Farabi politicalphilosophy and Ibn Rushdhaveestablished standards of scholarly excellencein thisfield. traveling theorist BhikhuParekhhas made British-Indian political to thefieldofmultione ofthemostsignificant contributions LikeAnthony culturalism. ways. loguepartners In East Pantham." including Taylor "politicsof In fact. becauseof his attentiveness to thegreatMuslimphilosopher and thelatterbecauseofhisnotionof"equivalences" al-Farabi. requiresdialogueand empathetic The pointof comparative in myview.shifting His and to issuesof post-colonialism and multiculturalism." withPanikkar and plurality Together Gadamer. selective.thedifferent on broaderEast-West comparisons the "languageof rights"betweenWesternliberalsand Asian As he wrotein thelattercase. it of or cross-cultural often accuse ics of comparative study thus the politics.As in Beijingdemonstrated.Michael particular AlsolikeParel. but also useof suchas. throughtheirintering in the cut and thrust ofa dialogue.propercross-cultural Buddhists. andhisstudyofthe"ecumenic Strauss's age.32 CriticalQueriesand BroaderImplications sketched so far. however. issueofuniversalism. book offers valuableobservations on comparative politicaltheorizing along lines.theyhaveto takeotherness and hencecannot seriously June2004 Vol.universalists. ways.even better. to takethe exampleof Islam again. as Daniel Bell.2/No.giventhe vast scope of crossculturalanalysis. and so valorizesdifference and "otherwhat Charles calls a politicaltheory. and thereby undermine thevery idea of universalism. in our different To do we surely becameclear. unfounded." parochial"identity betraying idea favoring in to universality and theaspirations inherent of universalism at The is or least misdirected. worth horizonfromwhichtherelative awayfromthatultimate on these be ofdifferent cultures 25Relying premmight evident.comparative AshisNandy. one could arguethatcross-cultural theorists are comparative based on a simplequesgenuine.""26 different heritage.Butterworth's a examplehasin turninspired thecondedicatedto exploring numberofyoungertheorists Islamand Westnectionbetweenmodernand contemporary As with academicphilosophyin ern democratictheory. tocomparative contributions madeimportant theory.Africanwomen.each in theirown spiritual routesto thisgoal.2 253 This content downloaded from 144. dialogicaland hermeneutical mustrecognizethe interplay of threefactors:"thecultural embeddedness ofhumanbeings. sality need to take othersand theiraspirationsseriously.and the internal ofeachculture. CharlesButterworth oftheclassicalage." ises. to thebroaderimplications however. he states. comparisonarisesnotfroman exodusfromthepastbutfrom to what a willingness to engagein mutuallearning. charge To be sure. by thisveryclaim. to movetowarda moregenuineuniversalism.He focusesnotonlyon relations Francophone politicalculturesin his nativeCanada.Muslimwomen.and manyothershave al-Jabri.needto listen to Asianwomen." But thisis a farcryfromparochialism.32.In additionto Theoryis a path-breaking discussions of suchtopicsas themeaningofculture.theidea makes no senseunlesswe believethatwomenmakea difference and thatwe needto listento womenin orderto aspireproperly to indifferent Butwomenmakea difference universality.I couldmakesimilar commentsaboutAfricaand LatinAmericaas well. which attentiveness. twoprominent thinkers mustsurely be generation Leo Straussand EricVoegelin.a lively RajeevBhargava.theynecessarily othersfromtheirmonopoly.30 political theorists havevaluablediaIn thecase of's invirtually allnon-Western contexts. Cultural and Political Multiculturalism: Rethinking Diversity textin thisfield. tion: Whois universal.Westernwomen. in suchthinkers as RajniKothari.Parekhremonstrates againstadoptinga privileged "viewfromnowhere" thatdistancesandneutralizes all cultural differences: "The commongood and thecollectivewill that arevitalto anypoliticalsocietyaregenerated notbytranscendcultural and other but particularities.One raisesthevexed Critto whichI havealludedrepeatedly. Parel.70 on Fri.comparative to diversetradistudyis attentive tions or life-forms.comparative As a resultoftheinitiatives political theoryhas steadilygainedmomentum.

by inhubetween distinction andwithAmyGutmann's manepractices.dialogue necessarily harmoniousor consensualbut includeschallengeand critical of a culture. politicalscienceas a disciplinemightescapethe lureof fiddlingwhileRome burnsand becomeinsteada valuableparto builda justglobalpeace.but a willingness As Parelremarks.38 In termsoflong-range political politicalvision. to "subintheWest.politicalliberalism of the out canonical status.In supportingsuch a visionof politics. encesthat.weshouldstillremember politics. so-called inWestern.comparative theorizingsupportsglobal democraticcooperation over over oligarchicor imperialcontroland dialogicalinteraction of The and unilateralism dangers the monologue.Suchfamiloflanto the their will increase sensitivity intricacies iarity translation of to the and (without problems guage oftransofcourse.Fora Comparative Articles I BeyondMonologue: Political Theory a This is ultimately pretendto speakforall othersuniversally. To theextentthatWesternmodernity todayis thedomiin manywaysre-opens nantstandard.Hans-Georg logueprecedes has pleadedin favorof a "politicsof dialogueand phronesis (practicalwisdom)"to createa "newworldorderof human Such politics. creed into an established transformed itselan. and Hiroshimathe world two Holocaust.In non-Western evena sympathetic outsideobserver. Let us turnnow to broaderimplications for of of themainbenefits comparative study politicaltheory is theabilityto rekindlethecriticaldlanendemicto political sincethetimeofSocratesand Platobutlikelyto be philosophy by canonization. ofany a wholesale to lead fact should that but rejection hardly is not above as described civilization.a battle betweenEast withthe difference whichcuriouslyintersects and West.butisalsoabundant a monopoly civilization-for example. Thus. has becomeglobalitscanonization ofmarketneo-liberalism. My pointhereis not to disparageliberalism's original thrust. 2 Dallmayr2002a and Dallmayr2002b. ized.CharlesTaylorlongago exposed to thetendency ethnocentrism: ofunilateral theconsequences own" and of our "allothersocietiesin thecategories interpret to erectthe "Atlantic-type polity"at thezenithof ultimately Albert In thepoliticalarena. petingideologies perspectives. of idioms. beingfocusedon the theclassical has "subverted modernity presenceofthepresent. to a critical repugnant Nearlyeveryculturecontainsfeatures socione. and genuinerespect.39 Camus'swarningthat"dialogueon thelevelofmankindis less [andotherhegcostlythanthegospelpreachedbytotalitarian in theformofa monologuedictatedfromthe emonic]regimes monotop of a lonelymountain.theCrusades.insteadof preserving tiqueor mode of criticalquestioningis in dangerof turning into a fixedansweror unquestioneddogmaitself.Movingfromthe habitually extinguished thesenseof willhelpto restore towardtheunfamiliar familiar thattheancientsextolledas pivotal (thaumazein) "wondering" to philosophizing. somethinghappens inspirationis At this or doctrine.the Judaeo-Christian.70 on Fri."in Parekh's intent. eties.horror however.34 roomfortherichdiversity comThis leadsto anothercriticalquery:is cross-cultural limits not Are there municationentirely appropriate benign? to to understanding. suchas untouchability. or else orhegemonicarrogance.Every difference of limits or dimensions encounters understanding thereareculturaldifferthatneedto be respected."Merleauofothercultures vertthepolitical philosophies Pontyseconded this observation.comparative withatleastonemajornon-European language. culturalinterrogation. 327. isnot weshouldnoteseveralpoints.thoughunderstandable. maystillbe unacceptable. ticesof thiskindareindeedhorribleand unacceptable. linescross-cultural and of temporal dling questioning-along can providean antidoteto thisdangerof congealment. no one can ofglobaldemocracy: deepdefenseandjustification It is also a defenseofdeliberforeverybody. contestation."36 acahasramifications beyondnarrowly theory Comparative demic confinesbecause it sustainsa discerningpolitical criticalperspective" outlook-what Parekhcalls a "radically has achievedviron society. learning allytransforming havea presumpcultures thatdifferent withTaylor'sargument whichcan be outweighed tiveworthin theirfavor."40 part.In our time. lationitself). 06 Mar 2015 18:11:05 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . makes wherecommunication calledcommunicative democracy. wars. ticularly Here.whileattempting andmedievaltraditions" aswell. a presumedself-righteousness toengageina mutuanda willingness froma sharedengagement I agreeon thispoint Basically. Inquisition. Next.On thestageas in reality.or its "criticaland emancipatory words.Firstofall. mightyetsalvage solidarity. speakuniversally ofwhatIrisMarionYounghas and especially ativedemocracy. it nothing adultideas.""4 ofgenocidalmayhemand thethreat ourearthfromtheravages of nucleardisaster. especiallyto thedesireand willingness at effort The answertothelatterissurely understand? yes. waynearlyall comtually edging undertheauspices or a liberating agentthatfreespeople fromunquesHowtioneddogmas and oppressivepoliticalstructures. and femaleinfanticide. ticipantin theeffort Notes 1 Strauss1962. hegemonic latterareevidentbothin academicstudiesand in globalpolitics.facedwithappallingfeatures mere underare not condemnedto silenceor comparativists from Thecentral issuehereiswhether proceeds critique standing.At issuehereis not a nostalgicreturnto a pristine and crossto engagein cross-temporal past. theorizing comparative theold battlebetweentheancientsand seemsto me.In theacademicdomain. process. oftheEast.theneedforand thebenefits obviating.32. Gadamer his For death.libertyis changingfroma liberating promise the rekinintoa vestedstatusor privileged Only possession. Moreover.37 initial when an ever. shouldbe veryfamiliar theorists 3 In myview.128.traditions as parviewedbyWesterners aretypically femalecircumcision Anditseemstomethatpracobnoxiousandhorrifying. liberalism's originalcripoint.To put it anotherway.35 meretolerance One and benefits.writingin referenceto Western modelsthatcelebrated fashionable supeevolutionary 254 hassomething "The Orient's'childishness' or maturity: riority narrowness ofour more than the if were to teachus. Perspectiveson Politics This content downloaded from 144.

38 In thiscontext. Spivak1990. TheRebel:An EssayonMan in Revolt. 20 Parel1992. forexample. Bakarand Nai 1997. forexample. ed. NewYork:Routledge. 27 Parekh2000.forexample. 35 Gutmann1992.67-84. SomeExemplary Voices. Md. Lanham. Ashcroft 9 Smith1991. theseriesofbooksentitledGlobalEncoun33 See especially ters:Studiesin Comparative PoliticalTheory. and Hahm Chaibong.BellandHahm2003. Bell. New York:PeterLang. Camus. 13-4. sity 2001. 73. whichI edit forLexingtonBooks. CulJames.4 Huntington1993. versity Coward. Dumoulin 1974.1986.31-47. 2002c. Hsiao 1987.Albert.17-30. eds. Sahlins1978.eds. 11 Gadamer1989a and Gadamer1989b. versity Bill. 11. plaryVoices.Seyla. June 2004 1 Vol.Harold. colonialStudies:TheKeyConcepts. 1981. 2002b. Bakar. Postcolonial Cultures and Literatures: Modernity and the(Un)Commonwealth. eds. plaryVoices. 8. Heidegger1971.ed. Hindu-Christian Dialogue:Perspectivesand Encounters. especially at 39-41.andChengGekNai. and Marcus1986. Hountondji2002. L6pez 2001. 2000. Islamanddemocracy: Reflections on AbdolkarimSoroush. EduBoulding.M. ComparealsoDussel 1995.Osman. forexample. in colonialand imperialist ventures complicity predicatedon "thewhiteman'sburden"and "la mission civilisatrice. 16 Merleau-Ponty 1964a.Kuala Lumpur:UniofMalaya. Amongyounger 2001. 15 Derrida1982 and Derrida1992.. 132-4.Rajeev. Philosophy: A Contemporary trans. 125-30. and Its Critics. plaryVoices.New York:VintageBooks.Schiller1989. 24 Jung1989. 31 See. 37 Parekh2000. 115. sity Benjamin. Butterworth scholarsin thisfieldsee especially Euben 1999. Comparealso SeylaBenhabib'splea for "thecreationand expansionofdeliberative discursive multicultural in liberal democracies" (Benhabib spaces 2002.1956. Dialogueamongcivilizations: calperspective. 30 See especially Soroush 1999. 28-9.Starting withDallmayr1999. Smart 1993. Marcus. Boulding1988. 23 Ibid. versity CharlesE. -. et al. 14 Bakhtin1981. 1999. 6 See. 1998. 40-2. 1989. 10 Heidegger1996. New Bhargava. BorderCrossings: ical Theory. Buildinga GlobalCivicCulture: cationforan Interdependent World. TheClaimsofCulture: Equalityand in theGlobalEra. Benhabib. 34 Young2000.Y. Nandy 1983.: OrbisBooks. 26 Taylor1999.Alternative Visions: PathsintheGlobalVilDallmayr. 06 Mar 2015 18:11:05 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 255 . Md. 32-3. Toward a Comparative Polit. 2. Writing Clifford. Cambridge:CambridgeUniverPress. 1999." 39 Taylor1971.Alfarabi: -.ed.Austin:University ofTexasPress.: Books. 48-9.284. ture:ThePoetics and PoliticsofEthnography.. On Soroushsee also Dallmayr2002d. 7 Geertz1973. 36 Parel1992.Voegelin 1981. 106-7. M. Arabic-Islamic al-Jabri. ed. 30-4. Fred. 339-40. References MohammedAbed.Kothari1988. andGeorgeE. Taylor1992. 116-8. In DialogueAmong Civilizations: SomeExemNew York:PalgraveMacmillan.AnthonyBower. Princeton: Princeton Univermentary Aristotle's Press. Benjaminet al. 1988. trans. Coward1989. 13-4. on Poetics. acrossboundaries:E pluribus . and HelenTiffin. ConfucianismfortheModernWorld. Secularism York:OxfordUniversity Press.Voegelin1974. 338-40.AndrewE. 19 Panikkar1988.1998. Nandy1987. 1997.167-84. 124. 21 Ibid. trans. TheDialogicImagination: FourEssays.Elise. Princeton: Princeton UniverDiversity sityPress. 2002d. 120. 31. Lexington A hermeneuti.128. Kothari1989. ThePoliticalWritings: "SelectedAphorisms"and OtherTexts. 14. 2/No. 2002a. N. lage. See alsoTaylor1985. 12. 32 See. 17 Ibid. UniBerkeley: of CaliforniaPress. 28 See especially Mahdi 1963. 2002. Falk 1999.In DialogueAmongCivilizations: SomeExemNewYork:Palgrave Macmillan. 18 Mehta 1987. Globalizationand inequality. 22 Ibid.70 on Fri.1998. 2002. 14. TonyDavies.2 This content downloaded from 144. ofTexasPress. Averroes's MiddleComButterworth. Sachedina al-Jabri 2001. Merleau-Ponty 1964b. 1998.Daniel A. 13 Mehta 1985. New York:PalAmongCivilizations: graveMacmillan.GarethGriffiths.. one can also notforget thefrequent complicityof "liberal"regimesin illiberaloppression: chiefly.1986. 25 Taylor1992. Jung2002.. Islamand ConA Civilizational fucianism: Dialogue. 5 Dallmayr2002c.eds. H. 133. MichaelHolquist. 12 Mehta 1990. 40 Camus 1956.Austin:UniCritique.. 29 Butterworth 1986. versity Bakhtin. Eze 1997.. and Pantham1995. 34. Maryknoll. Goh. 101). PostAshcroft.AzizAbassi. 139. theseriesbringstogether scholarsand intellectuals from aroundtheglobein a kindofglobalpublicdiscourse. Bhargava1998.Galtung1980.2002. 143-4.2003. Dallmayr1998. In Dialogue . trans. Heidegger1958. Clifford 8 See. 41 Pantham1992.and RobbieB. Syracuse: SyracuseUniPress. Lanham.: Rowman and Littlefield.32. Conversation unum?In DialogueAmongCivilizations: SomeExemNew York:PalgraveMacmillan. Ithaca:CornellUniversity Press.

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