Apolitics of Acknowledgement: (In)Action in Patchen Markell's Bound by Recognition Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Malloy, Tamar
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • In Bound by Recognition Patchen Markell relocates interactions that confer respect, moving from a state-centered politics of recognition to a politics of acknowledgement based primarily on individuals' acceptance of their own human finitude. I argue that, while engaging and promising, Markell's theory lacks a politics and, therefore, the potential to create far-reaching social change. In support of this claim I examine obstacles to realizing a politics of acknowledgement, Markell's anachronistic focus on Jewish emancipation in Prussia, and the unique advantages of an antagonistic, state-based politics of recognition, with particular attention to gay rights movements in the United States. I conclude that Markell's warnings about the danger of recognition are exaggerated, and that while a politics of acknowledgement might usefully inform political practice it cannot provide psychic or material benefits on par with those that might be gained through a politics of recognition.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Spinner-Halev, Jeff
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2012

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