• pluralism;
  • agonistic respect;
  • pathos of distance;
  • democracy

This article addresses Connolly's project in democratic theory against the background of Aristotle's reflection on the nature and limits of ethical and political theory and, within this context, focuses specifically on Connolly's appropriation of Nietzsche's ethos of agonistic respect as integral to a pluralist ethics of democracy. The Aristotelian framing makes clear the general difficulties that Connolly confronts and the pressures that this places on the rhetorical character of his project, while the issue of Connolly's appropriation of Nietzsche allows a focus on a particular lacuna or gap in Connolly's project concerning the relation between pluralism and the pathos of distance. It is argued not only that the diagnosed problem in Connolly's use of Nietzsche can be overcome through resources that Nietzsche makes available, but also that overcoming this problem provides criteria on the basis of which Connolly's project can be more closely aligned to issues in political science concerning institutional design and political policy.