Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Philosophy and Theology)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Renee Kohier-Ryan

Second Supervisor

John Rees


According to Mary Ann Glendon, scholars and statespersons have often grappled with a tension of pursuing their political ideals within practical realities. In The Forum and The Tower, Glendon examines how the political judgments of prominent public figures illuminates how conceptions of political ends inform, or do not inform, those decisions. This thesis draws from contemporary debates on Aristotle’s phronesis to explore how political actors deliberate between acting with integrity and compromising their political ideals. It develops a theoretical framework to examine the sources of political judgment in the leadership of Pope John Paul II towards Communist authority in Poland. The research proposes that John Paul II’s moral diplomacy draws from his political aim to expand the peoples’ participation in Poland’s political culture and economic structure. His decisions served as a “catalyst” for the Solidarity movement, which ultimately helped secure his political aims. However, external pressures on the Communist Government make it difficult to determine the extent to which John Paul II is “practically wise” in this context.

Included in

Religion Commons