our response to beliefs and practices that we hold to be
legitimate even though contrary to our own views. Such a concept of tolerance is typical of valuepluralism: we refrain from persecuting other religions, from hindering the life plans that look to us wasteful and silly, or
from trying to convince people that their aesthetic tastes are cheap, since
we recognise them as legitimate even if wrong in our eyes or lacking in
value. Pluralism has many versions: there is moral pluralism of the kind
Isaiah Berlin (probably on the basis of J. S. Mill’s view) has
a way very different to that of the liberal democratic model. My
Can human rights accommodate pluralism?
claim is that a political theory that takes ‘valuepluralism’ seriously in all its multiple dimensions needs to make room for the pluralism of cultures, ways of life and
political regimes. This means that we should acknowledge not only the possibility
of a variety of different approaches to ‘human rights’ but of a variety of forms
of democracy. Societies that envisage human dignity in a way that differs
that promotes non-violence, leaving certain violent norms such as the legitimacy of state violence in place.
In combination, counter-extremism strategies and practices therefore appear to appropriate these three strands of understanding expressed here: the promotion of hegemonic values, pluralism and tolerance, and non-violent political participation. The question guiding this chapter concerns what kind of peace is being produced through such a mode of countering extremism.
The peace and violence of counter-extremism
This section will take Britain’s counter
valuepluralism. The differences
are perhaps narrowest between neutralists who are also liberal egalitarians, and so
support that role for political institutions and that complex of policies for which
we use the shorthand term ‘welfare state’ (such as Brian Barry),10 and liberal perfectionists who press for the polity’s institutions to actively advance personal autonomy (such as Joseph Raz).11
The good (supranational) polity?12
From the conception of the good compatible with Gewirth’s theory of human
rights surveyed in Chapter 8, it is
A constructivist realist critique of idealism and conservative realism
to dog Northern Ireland. Consociationalism’s conservative realism makes the
unrealistic assumptions that the people are deferential to their benign political elites and that these elites reach agreement and then simply deliver their
ethnic group to any deal.
Idealism’s reluctance to accept and valuepluralism, its wishful thinking, and
its hostility and moralising attitude to politics leaves it ill equipped to explain
the politics of the peace process. Realism enjoys considerable advantages over
idealism: emphasis on power, acceptance of valuepluralism, the
form of institutionalised
subordination – and thus, a serious violation of justice.
This approach offers several important advantages. First, by appealing
to a deontological standard it permits one to justify claims for recognition
as morally binding under modern conditions of valuepluralism.8 Under
these conditions, there is no single conception of the good life that is universally shared, nor any that can be established as authoritative. Thus any
attempt to justify claims for recognition that appeals to an account of the
good life must necessarily be sectarian. No
its value from its contribution to personal
autonomy’ (ibid., pp. 408–9). As I said, this is a perfectionist account of positive freedom and of autonomy. Raz’s intention is to provide a ‘moralistic
Conceptual and methodological issues
octrine of political freedom’, ‘understood as presupposing value-pluralism
and as expressing itself in personal autonomy’ (ibid., p. 367). In addition,
for Raz, freedom is related to some notion of what types of life are valuable
or worthwhile. While ‘positive freedom is intrinsically valuable because
it is an essential
.21 This is a claim about the character, rather than the
nature, of pluralism.
Conflict is endemic . . . pluralists can step back from their personal commitments and appreciate in the abstract the value of other ways of life and their
attendant virtues. But this acknowledgement coexists with, and cannot replace,
the feelings of rejection and dismissiveness towards what one knows is in itself
valuable. Tension is an inevitable concomitant of accepting the truth of valuepluralism.22
Raz thinks that in
or announced a new proposal. When this happened, Labour was not only
invisible to voters but was also unable to set the political agenda. These periods of
silence also had a demoralising effect on the party. It was usually during these times
that rumours about leadership challenges started to emerge.
There was also a paradox at the heart of his leadership. Miliband tried to be a
deliberative type of leader who led by consensus, who was open to debate, and who
valuedpluralism, and yet he gave little room for other Labour voices to flourish.
His team controlled the
’s immensely sophisticated and in many respects highly attractive theory of it; as it has also escaped capture by political liberalism, valuepluralism and other theories that have aimed to offer a comprehensive normative account of it. 42
1 The fullest account of Forst ’s views on toleration is to be found in his monumental and seminal work, Toleranz im Konflikt: Geschichte, Gehalt und Gegenwart eines umstrittenen Begriffs ( Frankfurt/M : Suhrkamp , 2003 ). As a non-reader of German I have not been able to consult this edition, but a somewhat abbreviated