ABSTRACT

The longing for community has proved an exceptionally powerful and pervasive longing in human history. In the previous chapter, I sought to show how bonds of civic friendship might do the work of more traditional forms of community by making sense of the motivation to act on the dictates of procedural justice and thereby stabilising the preventive ethic. However, I concluded the chapter with a note of unease: even if civic friendship can account for the relative stability of the preventive ethic, it is not clear that the fear of instability alone fully explains the yearning for traditional forms of community. To be sure, politicians often defend their strategies for the promotion of community and social cohesion in terms of the stability it might help to provide, but that is certainly not the only, and perhaps not the most important, reason to care about community and cohesion.