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Lying, Deception and Post-Truth and the Ethics of Representation

Democracy
Elites
Political Leadership
Political Theory
Representation
Ethics
Brexit
P258
Sandra Kröger
University of Exeter
Richard Bellamy
University College London
Richard Bellamy
University College London

Building: VMP 8, Floor: 2, Room: 208

Thursday 09:00 - 10:40 (23/08/2018)


Abstract

The Brexit referendum and Trump’s victory in the US elections have been criticised for employing not just spin but also misinformation and even outright lying, including a denial that standards of truthfulness even applied. There has been extensive empirical research on how these tactics are received by voters. In this panel, we wish to focus on the normative question of whether, and if so how far and when, any of these various forms of deception and lying on the part of politicians can ever be justified, and what related answers imply for accountability. Machiavelli infamously observed that an ability not to tell the truth or act with integrity were among those ways a successful Prince must 'learn how not to be good’. More recently, Mearsheimer has suggested that ‘strategic’ lying may be justified if it serves the public good, not least by rendering the state and its citizens more secure. Yet, Kant and others have held that honesty is the best policy. In addition to offending most codes of morality, there also is the question as to how representatives can be held to account by citizens if they conceal, deceive, lie or simply contend truth is whatever they say it is. This panel invites papers that explore these issues normatively, empirically or employing a mixture of both.

Title Details
Representation, Truthfulness and Integrity: The Case of the Brexit Campaign View Paper Details
Brexit and Blame Avoidance: Cutting Through Officeholders’ Strategies for Evading Accountability View Paper Details
Democracy and Deception in an Age of Terror View Paper Details