Amid the resurgence of party spirit in the U.S., partisanship retains
its bad name. Often branded an expression of inherited prejudice, narrow
interest, or dogmatic commitment, it seems at odds with good citizenship.
In what form, if any, is partisanship something admirable? This question
has been neglected by political theorists, whose ideals of democracy,
justice, and citizen virtue rarely depict the proper place of
partisanship. I offer an account of the ethics of partisanship that shows
how party spirit is defensible, even admirable—and how it is
troubling, even pathological.
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