Finding Common Ground: A Communitarian Alternative to American Litigiouseness and Individual rights
AbstractCommunitarianism is a relatively new political philosophy committed to bringing community to the center of political discourse. Communitariansim challenges Liberalism because it posits that individual rights are not singularly supreme, but that they need to be balanced by responsibilities to the larger community. Communitarians have noted a decline in community in modern America. To many communitarians, the discourseof litigation and legalism has cut against communitarian ideals and contributed to the decline of community in America. In this paper, the central question asked is what effect does litigation have on the abilityof Americans to formulate stronger communities? I argue that although the rights-based discourse of litigation negatively affects community, there is some hope of accommodating legal dispute resolution with communitarian ideals. By using community mediation, community boards, and even the process of litigation itself, communitarians hope to reconcile the conflict between rugged individualism and strong community.
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