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How to make citizens behave: social psychology, Liberal virtues, and social norms

McTernan, Emily (2014) How to make citizens behave: social psychology, Liberal virtues, and social norms. Journal of Political Philosophy, 22 (1). pp. 84-104. ISSN 0963-8016

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Identification Number: 10.1111/jopp.12015


It is widely conceded by liberals that institutions alone are insufficient to ensure that citizens behave in the ways required for a liberal state to flourish, be stable, or function at all. A popular solution proposes cultivating virtues in order to secure the desired behaviours of citizens, where institutions alone would not suffice. A range of virtues are proposed to fill a variety of purportedgaps in the liberal political order. Some appeal to virtues in order to secure state stability; Rawls, for instance, claims that ‘citizens must have a sense of justice and the political virtues that support political and social institutions’ in order to ensure an ‘enduring society’. For Galston, citizens must possess a range of virtues in order for the state to function, including the virtues of courage, independence, tolerance, willingness to engage in public discourse, and law-abidingness.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 John Wiley & Sons
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2013 13:44
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:48
Funders: King's College, Cambridge

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