Cambridge.University.Press.The.Politics.of.Moral.Capital.Sep.2001.pdf

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Cambridge.University.Press.The.Politics.of.Moral.Capital.Sep.2001. MMMMThis page intentionally left blankThe Politics of Moral CapitalIt is often said that politics is an amoral realm of power and interest inwhich moral judgment is irrelevant. In this book, by contrast, John Kaneargues that people’s positive moral judgments of political actors andinstitutions provide leaders with an important resource, which hechristens ‘‘moral capital.’’ Negative judgments cause a loss of moralcapital which jeopardizes legitimacy and political survival. Studies ofseveral historical and contemporary leaders – Lincoln, de Gaulle, Man-dela, Aung San Suu Kyi – illustrate the signiWcance of moral capital forpolitical legitimation, mobilizing support, and the creation of strategicopportunities. In the book’s Wnal section, Kane applies his arguments tothe American presidency from Kennedy to Clinton. He argues that amoral crisis has aZicted the nation at its mythical heart and has beenrefracted through and enacted within its central institutions, eroding themoral capital of government and people and undermining the nation’smorale.john kane is the Head of the School of Politics and Public Policy atGriYth University, Queensland. He has published articles in such jour-nals as Political Theory, NOMOS and Telos, and is also co-editor ofRethinking Australian Citizenship (2000).Contemporary Political TheorySeries EditorIan ShapiroEditorial BoardRussell Hardin Stephen Holmes JeVrey IsaacJohn Keane Elizabeth Kiss Susan OkinPhillipe Van Parijs Philip PettitAs the twenty-Wrst century begins, major new political challenges have arisen atthe same time as some of the most enduring dilemmas of political associationremain unresolved. The collapse of communism and the end of the Cold WarreXect a victory for democratic and liberal values, yet in many of the Westerncountries that nurtured those values there are severe problems of urban decay,class and racial conXict, and failing political legitimacy. Enduring global injusticeand inequality seem compounded by environmental problems, disease, the op-pression of women, racial, ethnic and religious minorities, and the relentlessgrowth of the world’s population. In such circumstances, the need for creativethinking about the fundamentals of human political association is manifest. Thisnew series in contemporary political theory is needed to foster such systematicnormative reXection.The series proceeds in the belief that the time is ripe for a reassertion of theimportance of problem-driven political theory. It is concerned, that is, with worksthat are motivated by the impulse to understand, think critically about, andaddress the problems in the world, rather than issues that are thrown up primarilyin academic debate. Books in the series may be interdisciplinary in character,ranging over issues conventionally dealt with in philosophy, law, history and thehuman sciences. The range of materials and the methods of proceeding should bedictated by the problem at hand, not the conventional debates or disciplinarydivisions of academia.Other books in the seriesIan Shapiro and Casiano Hacker-Cordo´ n (eds.)Democracy’s ValueIan Shapiro and Casiano Hacker-Cordo´ n (eds.)Democracy’s EdgesBrooke A. AckerlyPolitical Theory and Feminist Social CriticismClarissa Rile HaywardDe-Facing PowerThe Politics of Moral CapitalJohn Kane         The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom  The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, AustraliaRuiz de Alarcón 13, 28014 Madrid, SpainDock House, The Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africahttp://www.cambridge.orgFirst published in printed format ISBN 0-521-66336-9 hardbackISBN 0-521-66357-1 paperbackISBN 0-511-03398-2 eBookJohn Kane 20042001(Adobe Reader)©For KayA man has only one death. That death may be as weighty as MountT’ai or it may be as light as a goose feather. It all depends on theway he uses it.Ssu-ma Ch’ien, Han shuContentsAcknowledgmentspageviiiIntroduction1PartIMoralcapital51Moralcapitalandpolitics102Moralcapitalandleadership27PartIIMoralcapitalintimesofcrisis453AbrahamLincoln:thelong-purposedman504CharlesDeGaulle:themanofstorms83PartIIIMoralcapitalanddissidentpolitics1135NelsonMandela:themoralphenomenon1186AungSanSuuKyi:herfather’sdaughter147PartIVMoralcapitalandtheAmericanpresidency1737KennedyandAmericanvirtue1808Crisis2009Aftermath21810Denouement235Epilogue255Bibliography261Index270viiAcknowledgmentsThis book had its genesis in an undergraduate class I convened asOlmsted Visiting Professor to the Department of Political Science, YaleUniversity in 1996–97. The Olmsteds were benefactors who had fundedan Ethics, Politics and Economics program in the department as a meansof addressing their concern about an apparent decline in the moralsensibility of national leaders. Their hope was that such a program wouldstimulate serious reXection on ethics and politics among undergraduateswho might one day play signiWcant roles on the political stage. Given thetask of devising a suitable course, I thought long and hard about how Imight approach the topic in a way that took the moral factor in politicallife seriously while avoiding naivete or fruitless moralizing.The idea of moral capital was my solution to the problem, and Iproposed it to the class as a concept to be collectively explored rather thanas an indicator of knowledge to be mastered. All leapt on it with an energyand intelligence that quite overwhelmed me, and in the process providedme with one of the best teaching experiences of my life. It is to thetwenty-two members of that class of ’96, then, that I owe my Wrst debt ofacknowledgment. It was their boundless enthusiasm, more than anythingelse, that caused me to believe there might be suYcient interest in thetopic to make an extended study worthwhile. It would be invidious toname individual names, but I hope that all will remember with as muchpleasure as myself the semester in which we Wrst tested the concept ofmoral capital on a range of political leaders past and present.I must also thank colleagues and post-graduate students at Yale formany stimulating discussions in which I was Wrst forced to defend andclarify the notion of moral capital. In particular, I would like to mentionLeonard Wantchekon, Eric Patashnik, Rogers Smith, Don Green, StevenSmith, Norma Thompson, Casiano Hacker-Cordo´n and CourtneyJung. Above all, I must thank Ian Shapiro for his unfailing encourage-ment and always useful commentary. Back home in Australia, I receivedfurther valuable critique from a number of colleagues: Elizabeth vanAcker, Patrick Bishop, and especially Haig Patapan, whose generousviii . institutions, eroding themoral capital of government and people and undermining the nation’smorale.john kane is the Head of the School of Politics and Public. intentionally left blank The Politics of Moral CapitalIt is often said that politics is an amoral realm of power and interest inwhich moral judgment is irrelevant.
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