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Author: Michael Kalisch

This book explores how the contemporary American novel has revived a long literary and political tradition of imagining male friendship as interlinked with the promises and paradoxes of democracy in the United States. In the last decades of the twentieth century, not only novelists but philosophers, critical theorists, and sociologists rediscovered the concept of friendship as a means of scrutinising bonds of national identity. This book reveals how friendship, long exiled from serious political philosophy, returned as a crucial term in late twentieth-century communitarian debates about citizenship, while, at the same time, becoming integral to continental philosophy’s exploration of the roots of democracy, and, in a different guise, to histories of sexuality. Moving innovatively between these disciplines, this important study brings into dialogue the work of authors rarely discussed together – including Philip Roth, Paul Auster, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Dinaw Mengestu, and Teju Cole – and advances a compelling new account of the political and intellectual fabric of the contemporary American novel.

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, socialists, Marxists, feminists, civic republicans, contemporary communitarians, and even conservative, religious fundamentalists from one another, one thing at least appears to unite them: the common belief that traditional liberalism has an inadequate conception of community. 21 Addressing this inadequacy, commentators and theorists of all political stripes frequently reach for the same solution: a revitalised form of ‘civic friendship’. In Habits of the Heart , for example, Bellah outlines a classical tradition in which ‘friendship and its virtues are not merely

in The politics of male friendship in contemporary American fiction
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Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue (2012) and Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude (2003)

liberal individualism. Many of these critiques looked to forms of friendship to model the kinds of revitalised affiliations they had in mind. In his communitarian analysis of Rawlsian deontology, for example, Michael Sandel evokes an Aristotelian idea of civic friendship to stress the importance of ‘constituent attachments’ in civic life. 5 In Chantal Mouffe’s very different ‘project of radical and plural democracy’, a conception of the ‘friend/enemy divide’ derived from the work of Carl Schmitt and Michael Oakeshott’s notion of societas suggests a ‘grammar’ for an

in The politics of male friendship in contemporary American fiction
João Labareda

whether the level of social solidarity amongst the peoples of Europe would ever be high enough to implement a scheme of distributive justice. In the absence of bonds of civic friendship, one may reasonably claim, it will be impossible to engage in systematic redistribution. The main reason is that people will not be willing to bear the costs of assisting those who they regard as distant foreigners. As has often been noted, social solidarity at EU level seems much weaker than at the nation-state level. Whether stronger bonds will ever develop remains unclear. If anything

in Towards a just Europe
Andreas Fischer- Lescano

:  Habermas und Maus’, in Sonja Buckel et  al. (eds), Neue Theorien des Rechts, 2nd edn (Stuttgart: Lucius & Lucius, 2006), 3–​26. 3 A. Honneth, Freedom’s Right: The Social Foundations of Democratic Life, trans. J. Ganahl (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013); R. Forst, Justification and Critique:  Towards a Critical Theory of Politics, trans. C. Cronin (Cambridge: Polity, 2014); H. Brunkhorst, Solidarity: From Civic Friendship to a Global Legal Community (Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 2005); S. Buckel, Subjektivierung und Kohäsion:  Zur Rekonstruktion einer

in Law and violence
Philip Roth’s I Married a Communist (1998) and The Human Stain (2000)

revitalised political community. In these accounts, civic friendship protects and promotes important liberal democratic values, such as individual rights, justice, and pluralism, yet also challenges the liberal dichotomy of the private and public spheres by suggesting that our political affiliations should be shaped by, rather than separate from, our personal relations. 98 American Pastoral ’s evocation of the ‘decline’ of Newark – especially after the race riots of the 1960s – echoes the elegiac tone of some communitarian accounts of the fragmentation of civil society

in The politics of male friendship in contemporary American fiction
Paul Auster’s fiction and film

citizens trust their institutions they need not trust one another’. 59 Hobbesian political philosophy therefore forecloses ‘the possibility of cultivating within citizens a culture of reciprocity’, Allen argues, by basing its contractual definition of political bonds ‘only on self-interest and fear, and not more broadly on practices like friendship’. 60 Indeed, a version of Aristotelian civic friendship is Allen’s solution to Hobbes’s derogation of citizenship. In the Nicomachean Ethics , she notes, ‘practices of reciprocity coalesce in politics in the form of law and

in The politics of male friendship in contemporary American fiction
João Labareda

gradual process. 28 In this sense, feelings of belonging and civic friendship have often been the outcome, rather than the origin, of a political community. For these reasons, the prospects of an EU democracy should not be dismissed too quickly on the grounds of a static and nation-state biased “no demos ” thesis. 29 In recent years, a number of scholarly accounts have conceptualized democracy and citizenship in a context of multiple levels of government. Amongst the existing frameworks, demoicracy and multilevel citizenship are of particular interest for my

in Towards a just Europe
Beginning a very dangerous politics
Andrew Poe

For an accounting of Moses in the rhetoric of the French Revolution, see Michel Vovelle , Die Französiche Revolution: Sozial Bewegung und Umbruch der Mentalitäten ( Fischer , 1985 ) pp. 130–1. See also Hauke Brunkhorst , Solidarity: From Civic Friendship to a Global Legal Community ( MIT Press , 2005

in Political enthusiasm
Myrto Tsakatika

goods ‘external’ to the practice. Of the goods that can be said to be ‘internal’ to the practice of governance, common deliberation, participation, civic friendship, and the formation of a political culture might be said to fall into this category. But there are certain other goods that we can consider to be more fundamental, in view of the fact that if they are not achieved, governance could be thought to fail at a much more basic level than would be the case if the less fundamental goods were not achieved. It might even be said that in the absence of those more

in Political responsibility and the European Union