An interesting feature of Rawls’s political liberalism is its reliance on a distinction between the moral and the political domains. The normative character of Rawls’s project, however, belies the metatheoretical nature of this distinction, which was never fully addressed by Rawls. In this thesis, I approach this distinction on its own terms and not as a normative question internal to political liberalism. In my view, whether the political is normatively distinct from the moral is a metatheoretical question normative politics—what I call ‘metapolitics’. The literature review surveys
contemporary political liberal approaches to this question through a framework I develop by drawing on a number of seemingly disparate philosophical debates. My goal is to prepare the ground for future metapolitical accounts of the political domain. Towards that end, in the accompanying paper I propose and present, though without endorsing, a novel metapolitical view I call ‘political fictionalism’.