(In)tolerance and political violence in Colombia: Materials for an account of political tolerance

Ivan Mahecha Bustos

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This dissertation arguesthat, when responding to instances of political intolerance, the main problem an account of political tolerance needs to deal with is that certain conditions be met, yet which are not present in the contexts where political intolerance appears; thus, it seems that in those situations,political tolerance is impossible.This is exemplified through the extermination of laUnión Patriótica(UP), a Colombian political party, framed in a situation of constant and systematic political exclusion and violence in a deeply polarised society. I hold that this impossibility is not a conceptual problem fortolerance initself, butratherfor how tolerance has been approached heretofore: when dealing with political tolerance, contemporary accounts thereof portray it as the outcome of various processes within a liberal and democratic polity.Accordingly, Iargue that these theories of tolerance presuppose that the most fundamental question of social cooperation hasalready been settled in terms of the constitution of a pluralist liberal-democratic order endorsed by the collectivity of citizens.I alsounveil the social, moral,and legal-political background assumptions that recognition, recognition-based tolerance,and liberal theories of toleration rely on. Additionally, I explain how these assumptions are challenged in situations such as the extermination of the UP. Finally, Iestablish that contemporary theories of tolerance are of limited use in explaining its role in situationsof political intolerance,where the very foundations of social and political collaboration are called into question.This viewisjuxtaposed to a different (less ambitious) understanding of tolerance, not as the outcome but as thecondition of a pluralistic liberal-democratic society.Starting from the claim of the toleree, political toleration must beresponsiveto that unconditional imperative. As such, it has a role to play in constituting democratic ordersin contextswhere the conditions for those societies are still disputedand far from being settled.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • Lindahl, Hans, Promotor
  • Augenstein, Daniel, Co-promotor
  • de Gamboa, Camila, Co-promotor, External person
Award date5 Oct 2022
Print ISBNs978-940-36-7446-9
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022


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