Contemporary Political Theory

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 159–196 | Cite as

What is important in theorizing tolerance today?

  • Wendy Brown
  • Jan Dobbernack
  • Tariq Modood
  • Glen Newey
  • Andrew F March
  • Lars Tønder
  • Rainer Forst
Critical Exchange

Tolerance as such does not exist


Nietzsche teaches us to ask, ‘When and why do certain virtues “become necessary” and what table of values might they topple as they ascend? How is this history erased by “democratic prejudice” in historiography and contemporary thought?’ So, then, what is the value of the value of tolerance? What does it thwart or displace? What histories are concealed behind its virtuous face?

Foucault teaches us to ask, ‘What powers of war play beneath accords of peace and how have the victors inscribed their triumph in language, regimes of truth or governmentalities? How are identities and subjectivities constituted and naturalized through these powers and inscriptions?’ So, then, what subjects and subjections does any field of tolerance bring into being? What norms does it circulate? How do discourses of tolerance naturalize the identities they appear only to manage?

Freud teaches us to ask, ‘What hostile feelings are disavowed or shouted down by...


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Brown
    • 1
  • Jan Dobbernack
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tariq Modood
    • 2
    • 4
  • Glen Newey
    • 5
  • Andrew F March
    • 6
  • Lars Tønder
    • 7
  • Rainer Forst
    • 8
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.European University InstituteFiesoleItaly
  3. 3.University of LincolnLincolnUK
  4. 4.University of BristolBristolUK
  5. 5.Instituut voor WijsbegeerteRA LeidenThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  7. 7.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark
  8. 8.Goethe-University Frankfurt am MainFrankfurt am MainGermany

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