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Third World ProtestBetween Home and the World$
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Rahul Rao

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560370.001.0001

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The Dark Sides of Communitarianism

The Dark Sides of Communitarianism

Chapter:
(p.69) 3 The Dark Sides of Communitarianism
Source:
Third World Protest
Author(s):

Rahul Rao (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560370.003.0003

Drawing on the international society approach, this chapter suggests that the efforts of Western states to impose liberal values on the Third World (described by Andrew Hurrell as ‘coercive solidarism’) have reinforced a Third World attachment to pluralist norms of sovereignty and non‐intervention. Surveying Third World attitudes towards intervention, the chapter assesses the extent to which Third World states have exhibited a preference for pluralism, refuting suggestions that such a preference has waned in the post‐Cold War period. It then demonstrates how moral justifications for pluralism rest on communitarian claims. Finally, the chapter criticizes these justifications, arguing that pluralism licences the authoritarian exercise of power in the name of state‐ and nation‐building. Although justified on communitarian grounds, the praxis of pluralism seems to undermine values that communitarians are keen to defend. Nonetheless, the ongoing experience of coercive solidarism gives authoritarian pluralism a veneer of legitimacy despite its self‐evident brutality.

Keywords:   international society, solidarism, pluralism, sovereignty, non‐intervention, communitarianism, state‐building, nation‐building, nationalism, authoritarianism, cultural relativism

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