Ethics and Activism: The Theory and Practice of Political Morality

Overview

How should and how do democratic citizens behave when governments act unjustly? Do they respond aggressively, armed with universal concern for the rights and interests of all citizens or are they acting from narrow concerns based on special interests and sectarian loyalties? To answer these questions, the author explores social activism on three continents: Jewish rescue in Europe during World War II, abortion politics in the United States, and peace and settler activism in Israel. The answer challenges the ...

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Overview

How should and how do democratic citizens behave when governments act unjustly? Do they respond aggressively, armed with universal concern for the rights and interests of all citizens or are they acting from narrow concerns based on special interests and sectarian loyalties? To answer these questions, the author explores social activism on three continents: Jewish rescue in Europe during World War II, abortion politics in the United States, and peace and settler activism in Israel. The answer challenges the strong moral role we often attribute to responsible citizens and emphasizes the competitive and parochial nature of morally inspired activism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The cognitive epistemological approach provides a coherent explanation of individual-level reasoning and its link to preference formation..." Richard W. Wilson, World Politics

"Gross engages in a rich application of theoretical principles to empirical data....[He] melds the psychologies of cognitive development and collective action into an integrated research model and then applies this model to the rescue of Jews in wartime France and Holland, to pro-life and pro-choice abortion activism in the US, and to the Gush Emunium and Peace Now moevements in Israel." Choice

"This book will appeal to those who are already convinced by rational choice theory." Stjepan G. Mestrovic, Contemporay Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521580977
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Pages: 305
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. The Philosophy of Political Morality: 1. Weak political morality; 2. Strong political morality; Part II. The Psychology of Political Morality: 3. Ethics and moral judgement: the dynamics of cognitive development; 4. Efficacy and political action: the logic of collective behavior; Part III. The Practice of Political Morality: 5. The politics of rescue: ethics and activism during wartime; 6. The politics of abortion: ethics and activism in the United States; 7. The politics of peace: ethics and activism in Israel; Part IV. The Future of Political Morality: 8. The future of political morality; Notes; References; Appendices.

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