The Power of Tolerance: A Debate

Paperback | June 3, 2014

byWendy Brown, Rainer ForstEditorLuca Di Blasi

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We invoke the ideal of tolerance in response to conflict, but what does it mean to answer conflict with a call for tolerance? Is tolerance a way of resolving conflicts or a means of sustaining them? Does it transform conflicts into productive tensions, or does it perpetuate underlying power relations? To what extent does tolerance hide its involvement with power and act as a form of depoliticization?

Wendy Brown and Rainer Forst debate the uses and misuses of tolerance, an exchange that highlights the fundamental differences in their critical practice despite a number of political similarities. Both scholars address the normative premises, limits, and political implications of various conceptions of tolerance. Brown offers a genealogical critique of contemporary discourses on tolerance in Western liberal societies, focusing on their inherent ties to colonialism and imperialism, and Forst reconstructs an intellectual history of tolerance that attempts to redeem its political virtue in democratic societies. Brown and Forst work from different perspectives and traditions, yet they each remain wary of the subjection and abnegation embodied in toleration discourses, among other issues. The result is a dialogue rich in critical and conceptual reflections on power, justice, discourse, rationality, and identity.

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From the Publisher

We invoke the ideal of tolerance in response to conflict, but what does it mean to answer conflict with a call for tolerance? Is tolerance a way of resolving conflicts or a means of sustaining them? Does it transform conflicts into productive tensions, or does it perpetuate underlying power relations? To what extent does tolerance hid...

Rainer Forst is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy and Co-Director of the "Normative Orders" Research Cluster at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main. His recent books include The Right to Justification, Toleration in Conflict and Justification and Critique.Wendy Brown is Class of 1936 First Professor of Political Science at...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 8 × 4.75 × 0.68 inPublished:June 3, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023117019X

ISBN - 13:9780231170192

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Table of Contents

Editorial NoteThe Power of Tolerance: A Debate Between Wendy Brown and Rainer ForstEpilogue: Tensions in Tolerance, by Luca Di Blasi and Christoph F. E. HolzheyNotes on the Contributors

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We can gain much from reading and discussing this slim, insightful book.