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Politics between Justification and Defiance

Open Panel

Abstract

The paper discusses the status and role of politics - in its various facets - in the pragmatic sociology of critique. One of the original features of pragmatic sociology is its attempt to explicitly relate a plurality of ideal models of justification and justice with social practice. The paper will explore a number of different dimensions of politics – politics-as-justification, politics-as-distribution, politics-as-constitution, and politics-as-defiance – that can said to be of importance for a pragmatic sociology of critique, but that have not all been taken up equally in this approach. The paper situates pragmatic sociology in a tradition of thought that views politics as emerging in the settlement of disputes over differences without resorting to violence. However, it can be argued that pragmatic sociology tends to ignore questions of the constitution of politics. I suggest that one way of bringing the foundational aspect upfront is by conceptualizing and studying defiance, including forms of explicit (dissent) and implicit critique (resistance) of the existing order.