The editors of Perspectives on Modern Honor (Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming 2015) invite abstracts on the topic of honor and liberalism. Invited contributors include:

  • Amitai Etzioni (Sociology, George Washington)
  • Sharon Krause (Political Science, Brown)
  • Richard Ned Lebow (International Relations, Dartmouth & King’s College)
  • Stephen Forde (Political Science, North Texas)
  • Joseph Vandello and Vanessa Hettinger (Psychology, Florida State)
  • Paul Robinson (International Relations, Ottawa)
  • Ajume Wingo (Philosophy, Colorado)
  • Andrea Mansker (History, Sewanee)
  • Mark Griffith (University of West Alabama)
  • Tony Cunningham (Philosophy, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s)
  • Ryan Rhodes (Philosophy, Oklahoma)
  • Dan Demetriou (Philosophy, Minnesota-Morris)

Guidelines: Please send a 300-500 word abstract (appropriate to a chapter length of 7,500-9,000 words) to the editors by Feb 15, 2014.

Laurie Johnson (Political Science, Kansas State) at
Dan Demetriou (Philosophy, Minnesota-Morris) at

Replies will be given by March 1, 2014, and completed manuscripts will be due to the editors by April 15, 2015.

More about the project:
Honor is, for many, an outdated concept that clashes with modern, liberal, priorities. Honor is associated with medieval chivalry, the warlike virtues, and in our own times such reprehensible acts as terrorist attacks and honor killings. None of this is very attractive in a world in which women have made great gains towards full equality, where war can be total, and where terrorism beleaguers Western societies. Even early modern and Enlightenment thinkers often rejected honor (or re-defined it) as an irrational human motivation which leads nations and individuals to fight over religious and ethnic rivalry or trivial matters, such as insults. Thomas Hobbes, for instance, rejected aristocratic honor as a major cause of quarrel, and sought to control its power by placing it in the hands of an absolute sovereign. John Locke attempted to replace the quest for honor as a motivation with the pursuit of enlightened self-interest and commodious living.

And yet, there is a growing interest in reviving honor and making it “safe” for modern liberal society. This concern recognizes that members of liberal democratic societies are finding it increasingly difficult to find common ground, or to foster any agreement about expectations for private and public conduct. Honor is a concept that can be interpreted in a secular manner, which gives it an edge over purely religion-based attempts at creating a code of conduct in societies with great religious diversity and a separation of church and state.

A growing body of literature is addressing these benefits of honor, as well as the challenges to developing honor codes in liberal societies, but authors define honor in a variety of ways and take different approaches to how to operationalize honor in modern liberal societies. This groundbreaking volume will be the first to engage scholars representing various disciplines in a dialogue about what honor means and role it should play in liberal societies.

General areas of consideration for authors can include:

1. How should we define honor or categorize types of honor?

2. Are honor and liberalism in fact, or in principle, in tension, or are they mutually reinforcing?

3. Is military honor alive in modern liberal societies, and if so, does it pose a problem for them?

4. How should we react to non-Western honor motivations (i.e., Western vs. non-Western honor)?