Recent political philosophy is preoccupied with theorising conflict and gives little attention to the affective origins of social cohesion. The project aims to rectify this tendency by evaluating the constructive potential of positive forms of cultural negotiation in Australia. It understands individuals and communities as relational entities directed by the pursuit of joyful satisfaction. By theorising the complex nature of identity and of satisfaction, the project develops new thinking about how integrity can be protected in conflict situations while remaining flexible and open to engagements in multicultural contexts. The outcome is a novel understanding of political community built upon positive affective forces.
This project responds to problems of social conflict in Australia by theorising the conditions required for cohesion in culturally diverse societies. The research will contribute to current debates about the need for reconciliation and harmony, and to Australia’s international profile in the emerging fields of pluralist and postcolonial political philosophy.