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Fellow strangers: the mirage of collective political agency

Pourvand, Kaveh (2019) Fellow strangers: the mirage of collective political agency. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis criticises the view that citizens do or potentially could control and shape the political institutions that govern them. Such a view conceives of political institutions as the product of the collective agency of the liberal citizenry. This thesis treats John Rawls’ political philosophy as paradigmatic of this view, one very prevalent in contemporary political philosophy. Drawing on the social theory of Friedrich Hayek, it argues that we know too little about one another in a large, impersonal society to meaningfully act together in the pursuit of shared objectives. This extends to our political institutions, which are the product of human action but not design. We liberal moderns must reconcile ourselves to a political world that exceeds our capacity to control and direct it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2019 Kaveh Pourvand
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Kukathas, Chandran

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