Toward a unity of ethics and practice: Interpreting inclusion and diversity

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This article proceeds from the claim that the separation between normative political theory, political science, and politics is artificial, and that it should be challenged. In the first section, insights offered by Hans-Georg Gadamer and Charles Taylor, as well as more recent hermeneutic studies, will be brought in to show what we have to gain by incorporating normative theory and normative commitments into interpretive research programs. In the second section, I will interpret the normative commitments, with regard to inclusion, contained in the national-cosmopolitan debate, and the normative commitments, with regard to diversity, contained in the communitarian-multicultural debate. This section will close with the phrasing of "thematic questions," which occupy each of the debates, and of the typical answers each approach gives to these questions. This thematic-questions-and-typical-answers framework can be used as an interpretive instrument in the study of existing communities. The last section will exemplify how such an interpretation may be conducted. I will put forth an interpretation of the European Parliament's debate on the opening of accession negotiations with Turkey. I will show how asking the text the thematic questions, looking for answers within it, and identifying their normative orientation can produce insights on the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-410
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Studies Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


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