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Dirty hands and clean gloves: Liberal ideals and real politics

Bellamy, R; (2010) Dirty hands and clean gloves: Liberal ideals and real politics. European Journal of Political Theory , 9 (4) 412 - 430. 10.1177/1474885110374002. Green open access

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Abstract

Can liberal ideals clean up dirty politicians or politics? This article doubts they can. It disputes that a 'cleana' liberal person might inhabit the dirty clothes of the real politician, or that a clean depoliticized liberal constitution can constrain real-world dirty politics. Nevertheless, the need for a democratic prince to wear clean liberal gloves offers a necessary and effective political restraint. It also means that citizens share the hypocrisy and dirt of those who serve them - for we legitimize the dirtiness of politics by requiring politicians to seem cleaner than we know they ever can be in reality. © The Author(s) 2010.

Type: Article
Title: Dirty hands and clean gloves: Liberal ideals and real politics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1474885110374002
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474885110374002
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2010
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1359229
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