2004 C.B. Macpherson Prize
Winner: Duncan Ivison
Postcolonial Liberalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002)
Excerpt from jury report: In Postcolonial Liberalism Duncan Ivison explores the challenges to liberal understandings of justice, citizenship, and democracy posed by the situation and the demands of indigenous peoples in contemporary democracies. Weaving together discussions of theorists as disparate as Rawls and Habermas on the one hand and Foucault and Said on the other, Ivison argues for a version of liberal theory that is pluralistic, open, and sensitive to the claims of local contexts but that still aspires to principled generality. Displaying a mastery of a remarkably wide range of works, Ivison produces an analysis that is subtle and sophisticated. He illustrates in his own discussions the kind of open-minded listening to others that he advocates. This is a distinguished contribution to the literature of contemporary political theory.