Nouvelle publication

Rebecca Kingston, Public Passion : Rethinking the Grounds for Political Justice

Rebecca Kingston, Public Passion : Rethinking the Grounds for Political Justice, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011, 256 pages

ISBN-10 : 077353878X ; ISBN-13 : 978-0773538788

Whether in the recep­tion of rou­sing poli­ti­cal ora­tory like that of de Gaulle or Martin Luther King or in the moti­va­tions of demons­tra­tors in popu­lar upri­sings like those in Tunisia and Egypt, there is no denying that emo­tion and poli­tics are connec­ted. Nonetheless, cri­ti­cism of poli­ti­cal debate and dis­course as emo­tio­nally (rather than ratio­nally) based is ubi­qui­tous and emo­tion is often pre­sen­ted as a nega­tive fac­tor in poli­tics.

Public Passion shows that rea­son and emo­tion are not mutually exclu­sive and res­to­res the legi­ti­macy of sha­red emo­tion in poli­ti­cal life. Public Passion tra­ces the role of emo­tion in poli­ti­cal thought from its pro­mi­nence in clas­si­cal sour­ces, through its resus­ci­ta­tion by Montesquieu, to the pre­sent moment.

Combining intel­lec­tual his­tory, phi­lo­so­phy, and poli­ti­cal theory, Rebecca Kingston deve­lops a sophis­ti­ca­ted account of col­lec­tive emo­tion that demons­tra­tes how popu­lar sen­ti­ment is com­pa­ti­ble with debate, plu­ra­lism, and indi­vi­dual agency and shows how emo­tion sha­pes the tone of inte­rac­tions among citi­zens. She also ana­ly­zes the ways in which emo­tions are sha­red and trans­mit­ted among citi­zens of a par­ti­cu­lar regime, paying par­ti­cu­lar atten­tion to the connec­tion bet­ween poli­ti­cal ins­ti­tu­tions and the psy­cho­lo­gi­cal dis­po­si­tions that they fos­ter.

Public Passion pre­sents illu­mi­na­ting new ways to appre­ciate the forms of popu­lar will and reveals that emo­tio­nal unders­tan­ding by citi­zens may in fact be the very basis through which a com­mit­ment to prin­ci­ples of jus­tice can be sus­tai­ned.

Cet ouvrage appro­fon­dit la notion de prin­cipe chez Montesquieu, en le repla­çant parmi les condi­tions psy­cho­lo­gi­ques col­lec­ti­ves de la poli­ti­que, dans un vaste contexte intel­lec­tuel et phi­lo­so­phi­que. Le der­nier cha­pi­tre s’efforce de dépas­ser l’ana­lyse de Montesquieu en repen­sant les fon­de­ments d’une théo­rie de la jus­tice, théo­rie qui pren­drait au sérieux les émotions en poli­ti­que, comme le fait aujourd’hui la pen­sée poli­ti­que libé­rale.

La « lec­ture cri­ti­que » de l’ouvrage Montesquieu and his Legacy, dirigé en 2008 par Rebecca Kingston (Suny Press) est désor­mais dis­po­ni­ble :