Compromise, value pluralism, and democratic liberalism

Patrick Overeem*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Some political theorists think the defense of the politics of compromise is inherently related to the doctrine of value pluralism. In his contribution, Patrick Overeem questions this connection. He notes that value pluralism is a meta-ethical doctrine that does not have the direct consequences for political theory that some writers believe it has. Writers such as Bellamy also include democratic liberalism along with value pluralism and compromise and see all three notions as intrinsically linked. These relationships, however, are far from obvious or unproblematic, according to Overeem. Indeed, the justification for compromise can just as well be based on value monism as on value pluralism, and we find defenders of compromise equally among political conservatives and democratic liberals. Thus, to justify the politics of compromise, we must explore avenues other than value pluralism and democratic liberalism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCompromise and Disagreement in Contemporary Political Theory
EditorsChristian Rostbøll, Theresa Scavenius
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315317823, 9781315317809 , 9781315317816
ISBN (Print)9781138230620
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Innovations in Political Theory


  • Compromise
  • Value pluralism
  • Democratic liberalism

VU Research Profile

  • Governance for Society


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