The ability of very wealthy individuals (or, as I will call them, the ‘super-rich’) to turn their economic power into political power has been—and remains—an important cause of political inequality. In response, this paper advocates an original solution. Rather than solving the problem through implementing a comprehensive conception of political equality, or through enforcing complex rules about financial disclosure etc., I argue that we should impose a choice on the super-rich. The super-rich must choose between (i) forfeiting (...) the things that make them super-rich, i.e., pay a 100 % tax on their wealth above a certain level, or, (ii) they must forfeit some of their politicalrights. These rights include entitlements to fund political parties; to stand for office; and to work or volunteer for political parties. The right to vote, though, is not limited. I defend my proposal against non-consequentialist and consequentialist objections. I also argue that it avoids two problems that many attempts to reduce political inequality face; these are the political egalitarian’s dilemma and the problem of political equality’s relative moral importance. (shrink)
I defend a neo-republican account of the right to have politicalrights. Neo-republican freedom from domination is a sufficient condition for the extension of politicalrights not only for permanent residents, but also for temporary residents, unauthorized migrants, and some expatriates. I argue for the advantages of the neo-republican account over the social membership account, the affected-interest account, the stakeholder account, and accounts based on the justification of state coercion.
" This Volume tries to cover some important parts of the whole spectrum of European Studies. The essay of Fabrizio Sciacca begins with the issue of human rights. Sciacca relates the development of human rights regimes within the European Union to the general question of human rights education, without which human rights must keep abstract legality" (Hauke Brunkhorst, Preface).
Zoopolis offers a new agenda for the theory and practice of animal rights. Most animal rights theory focuses on the intrinsic capacities or interests of animals, and the moral status and moral rights that these intrinsic characteristics give rise to. Zoopolis shifts the debate from the realm of moral theory and applied ethics to the realm of political theory, focusing on the relational obligations that arise from the varied ways that animals relate to human societies and (...) institutions. Building on recent developments in the political theory of group-differentiated citizenship, Zoopolis introduces us to the genuine "political animal". It argues that different types of animals stand in different relationships to human political communities. Domesticated animals should be seen as full members of human-animal mixed communities, participating in the cooperative project of shared citizenship. Wilderness animals, by contrast, form their own sovereign communities entitled to protection against colonization, invasion, domination and other threats to self-determination. `Liminal' animals who are wild but live in the midst of human settlement (such as crows or raccoons) should be seen as "denizens", resident of our societies, but not fully included in rights and responsibilities of citizenship. To all of these animals we owe respect for their basic inviolable rights. But we inevitably and appropriately have very different relations with them, with different types of obligations. Humans and animals are inextricably bound in a complex web of relationships, and Zoopolis offers an original and profoundly affirmative vision of how to ground this complex web of relations on principles of justice and compassion. (shrink)
In March 1993, in preparation for the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights, representatives from the states of Asia gathered in Bangkok to formulate their position on this emotive issue. The result of their discussions was the Bangkok declaration. They accepted the concept of universal standards in human rights, but declared that these standards could not overridet he unique Asian regional and cultural differences, the requirements of economic development, nor the privileges of sovereignty. : The difficult and (...) powerful dichotomies raised in Bangkok, and their particular relevance to China, are explored in the ten essays contained in this book. The underlying political, cultural, philosophical, legal and economic issues which cut across the human rights spectrum are also considered. The writiers themselves are Chinese and Hong Kong scholars, or leading political figures who are involved in the current human rights debate. The ultimate goal of the book is not to resolve the issues raised in Bangkok, but to expose some contours of discussion in a way that is fresh and accessible. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to consider whether it is permissible for a liberal democratic state to deny anti-liberal-democratic citizens and groups the right to run for parliament. My answer to this question is twofold. On the one hand, I will argue that it is, in principle, permissible for liberal democratic states to deny anti-liberal-democratic citizens and groups the right to run for parliament. On the other hand, I will argue that it is rarely wise (or prudent) for ripe (...) democracies to exclude anti-liberal-democrats from parliamentary elections. There are at least two reasons for this. The first is related to the inherent stability of just institutions. The second is that exclusion can lead to group polarization and enclave deliberation that can engender political extremism and impair processes of interpersonal and intrapersonal deliberation in liberal democracies. (shrink)
Abstract: The emergence of cross-border communities and transnational associations requires new ways of thinking about the norms involved in democracy in a globalized world. Given the significance of human rights fulfillment, including social and economic rights, I argue here for giving weight to the claims of political communities while also recognizing the need for input by distant others into the decisions of global governance institutions that affect them. I develop two criteria for addressing the scope of democratization (...) in transnational contexts— common activities and impact on basic human rights —and argue for their compatibility. I then consider some practical implications for institutional transformation and design, including new forms of transnational representation. (shrink)
The essay begins from Alan Gewirth's influential account of human rights, and specifically with his argument that the human right to political participation can only be fulfilled by competitive, liberal democracy. I show that his argument rests on empirical, rather than conceptual grounds, which opens the possibility that in China, alternative forms of participation may be legitimate or even superior. An examination of the theory and contemporary practice of 'democratic centralism' shows that while it does not now adequately (...) support the right to political participation, a reformed version could. I focus in particular on the roles that could be played by consultative institutions, looking both to recent Chinese proposals and to analogues currently existing in Japan. I conclude that a reformed democratic centralism may well be the objective toward which Chinese people should strive. (shrink)
Abstract: Would a global commitment to international human rights norms provide enough of a sense of community to sustain a legitimate and sufficiently democratic global order? Sceptics worry that human rights cannot help maintain the mutual trust among citizens required for a legitimate political order, since such rights are now too broadly shared. Thus prominent contributors to democratic theory insist that the members of the citizenry must share some features unique to them, to the exclusion of (...) others—be it a European identity ( Habermas and Derrida 2003 ) or a national public culture generally shared only by the members ( Miller 1995, 2000 ). This essay considers and rejects these arguments. While stable, democratic redistributive arrangements do require trust and institutionalised means of trustworthiness; they need not rely on norms or values that distinguish members from non-members: such exclusion is not required. Thus human rights may be part of a common political identity. (shrink)
This article discusses three main orientations in recent works of legal and political theory about the family-contract-based, community-based, and rights-based-and argues that none of these takes adequate account of two paradoxical features of family life and of the family's relationship to the state. A coherent political and legal theory of the family in the contemporary United States requires recognition of the relational rights and responsibilities intrinsic to family life.
The green movement has posed some tough questions for traditional justifications of democracy. Should the natural world have rights? Can we take account of the interests of future generation? Do we need to replace existing institutions to deal with the ecological crisis? But questions have also been asked of the greens. Could their idealism undermine democracy? Can greens be effective democrats? Democracy and Green Political Thought, leading writers on green political thought analyze these and other important questions, (...) examine the discourse of green movements concerning democracy, the status of democracy within green political thought, and the political institutions which might be necessary to ensure democracy in a sustainable society. The debates are not simply about the compatibility of democracy with green ideas but also how best to define democracy itself. (shrink)
The volume brings together a collection of original papers on some of the main tenets of Joseph Raz's legal and political philosophy: Legal positivism and the nature of law, practical reason, authority, the value of equality, incommensurability, harm, group rights, and multiculturalism.
The Rights of War and Peace is the first fully historical account of the formative period of modern theories of international law. It sets the scene with an extensive history of the theory of international relations from antiquity down to the seventeenth century. Professor Tuck then examines the arguments over the moral basis for war and international aggression, and links the debates to the writings of the great political theorists such as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant. -/- This (...) is not only an account of international law: as Professor Tuck shows, ideas about inter-state relations were central to the formation of modern liberal political theory, for the best example of the kind of agent which liberalism presupposes was provided by the modern state. As a result, the book illuminates the presuppositions behind much current political theory, and puts into a new perspective the connection between liberalism and imperialism. (shrink)
Disputes over language policy are a persistent feature of the political life of many states around the world. Multilingual countries in the West such as Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and Canada have long histories of conflict over language rights. In many countries in Eastern Europe and the Third World, efforts to construct common institutions and a shared identity have been severely complicated by linguistic diversity. Indigenous languages around the world are in danger of disappearing. Even in the United States, (...) where English is widely accepted as the language of public life, the linguistic rights of Spanish-speakers are hotly-contested. Not surprisingly, therefore, political theorists have started to examine questions of language policy, and how they relate to broader issues of democracy, justice and rights. This volume provides the reader with an up-to-date overview of the emerging debates over the role of language rights and linguistic diversity within political theory. It brings together many of the leading political theorists who work in the field, together with some of the most important social scientists, with the aim of exploring how political theorists can conceptualize issues of language rights and contribute to public debates on language policy. Questions of language policy are not only of enormous political importance in many countries, but also help to illuminate some of the most important debates in contemporary political theory, including questions of citizenship, deliberative democracy, nationalism, multiculturalism, identity politics, group rights, the liberal-communitarian debate, and so on. The thirteen essays in this volume highlight both the empirical constraints and normative complexities of language policy, and identify the important challenges and opportunities that linguistic diversity raises for contemporary political theory. (shrink)
A. Belden Fields invites people to think more deeply about human rights in this book in an attempt to overcome many of the traditional arguments in the human rights literature. He argues that human rights should be reconceptualized in a holistic way to combine philosophical, historical, and empirical-practical dimensions. Human rights are viewed not as a set of universal abstractions but rather as a set of past and ongoing social practices rooted in the claims and struggles (...) of peoples against what they consider to be political, economic, or social domination. By aptly showing how a people’s fight for recognition is often closely tied to rights claims, Fields argues that these connections to identity can help bridge the gulf between universalistic and cultural relativistic arguments in the human rights debate. (shrink)
Richard Price (1723-1791) was an eminent Welsh philosopher and Dissenting Minister. His political pamphlets won him considerable fame in the eighteenth century as a supporter of the American rebels in their struggle for independence, and for the enthusiasm with which he greeted the opening events of the French Revolution. It was this enthusiasm that provoked Edmund Burke into writing "Reflections on the Revolution of France." Price is noteworthy as a defender of freedom of thought (especially on religious matters), as (...) a proponent of parliamentary reform, and as an advocate of a minimalist conception of government. He espoused the doctrine of natural rights and the principle of self-government. This book is a collection of Price's most important pamphlets of the period 1759-1789, and is accompanied by a comprehensive introduction putting Price's work in context, complete bibliographical material, a chronology, and bibliographic notes on persons mentioned in the texts. (shrink)
'There are no substantive rights for subjects in Hobbes's political theory, only bare freedoms without correlated duties to protect them'. This orthodoxy of Hobbes scholarship and its Hohfeldian assumptions are challenged by Curran who develops an argument that Hobbes provides claim rights for subjects against each other and (indirect) protection of the right to self-preservation by sovereign duties. The underlying theory, she argues, is not a theory of natural rights but rather, a modern, secular theory of (...)rights, with something to offer current discussions in rights theory. (shrink)
It is well known that Rawls and Habermas propose different strategies for justifying and classifying human rights. The author argues that neither approach satisfies what he regards as threshold conditions of determinacy, rank ordering, and completeness that any enforceable system of human rights must possess. A related concern is that neither develops an adequate account of group rights, which the author argues fulfills subsidiary conditions for realizing human rights under specific conditions. This latter defect is especially (...) serious in light of the different but equal roles that both subnational groups as well as supernational organizations play in bringing about a just global distribution of economic resources. (shrink)
The land of chimeras -- Rousseau's half-being -- Navigating the land of chimeras with our only star & compass -- John Locke's other half being -- Nature does nothing in vain -- The foundation of almost every social virtue -- In a word, a better citizen.
This pioneering new book suggests how different traditions of sociological thought can contribute to an understanding of the theory and practice of rights. Rights: Sociological Perspectives provides a sociological treatment of a wide range of substantive issues but without losing sight of key theoretical questions. It considers some varied cases of public intervention, including welfare, caring, mental health provisions, pensions, justice and free speech, alongside the rights issues they raise. Similarly, it examines the question of rights (...) from the point of view of distinctive population groups, such as prisoners and victims, women, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, and lesbians and gays. It also contains two specifically theoretical chapters, which provide a critical overview of the existing approaches to the construction and implementation of rights. Rights: Sociological Perspectives offers a diverse and detailed exploration of the contribution sociological thought can make to this increasingly important aspect of social life and will be an invaluable aid to students. (shrink)
"In 1776, the American Declaration of Independence appealed to "the Laws of nature and of Nature's God" and affirmed "these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain ...
The Proliferation of Rights explores how the assertion of rights has expanded dramatically since World War II. Carl Wellman illuminates for the reader the historical developments in each of the major categories of rights, including human rights, civil rights, women’s rights, patient rights, and animal rights. He concludes by assessing where this proliferation has been legitimate and helpful, cases where it has been illusory and unproductive, and alternatives to the appeal to (...) class='Hi'>rights. (shrink)
If we have a natural right to liberty, it is hard to see how a state could be legitimate without first obtaining the (genuine) consent of the governed. I consider the threat natural rights pose to state legitimacy. I distinguish minimal from full legitimacy and explore different understandings of the nature of our natural rights. Even though I conclude that natural rights do threaten the full legitimacy of states, I suggest that understanding our natural right to liberty (...) to be grounded in our interests in a certain way might not commit us to requiring consent for minimal legitimacy. Thus, even if natural rights effectively block the full legitimacy of states - on the assumption that rarely, if ever, the requisite consent will be forthcoming - they may allow minimal state legitimacy. Footnotesa I am grateful to my fellow contributors to this volume and to other readers for helpful questions and comments on an earlier version of this essay and in particular to Fred Miller, David Schmidtz, and John Simmons for written comments. Ellen Paul's detailed comments have helped me, as always, to correct many confusions and errors, and Harry Dolan's excellent editing has discovered others that I have endeavored to address. (shrink)
Citizenship and human rights in tension : changes, issues and approaches -- Privileging human rights -- The illusive promise of human rights -- Politics and legalism -- Back to citizenship, an agonistic conception.
In newly emerging democracies, succeeding governments have numerous policy tasks for the purpose of developing the free market and the democratic process. In such legal systems, policy-oriented views of law, which regard law as a policy tool for diminishing public problems, seem descriptively pertinent and prescriptively helpful. This is also the case in mature democratic legal systems, where the public problems faced by governments become more and more complex. Policy-directional views of law do not necessarily imply that law is a (...) value-neutral means that can serve any possible political ends. It is widely recognized among legal theorists and practitioners, with notable exceptions represented by exclusive legal positivists, that the law involves moral values, including justice and liberty. In the present essay, I focus on one version of policy-oriented views of law that is based on the fundamental ideals of justice and interest. By sketching out this version, I attempt to shed new light on some concepts and issues in jurisprudence. To begin, I articulate the concept of justice and identify the difficulties that interest-based conceptions of justice encounter, by referring to some classical works. I also make a distinction between different conceptions of interest. Next, the two basic concepts in law — rights and liberty — are explained in terms of justice and interest. Efficiency, which has been largely neglected in traditional jurisprudence notwithstanding its practical significance, is also briefly discussed. Then, I turn to exploring the implications that the law-as-policy theory grounded on justice and interest might have for the foundations of two legal domains: criminal law and laws governing political participation. Some allegations and objections against this theory are described, and responses to them are given. The essay concludes by noting the questions that remain open in this theory. (shrink)
John Rawls’s political liberalism and its ideal of public reason are tremendously influential in contemporary political philosophy and in constitutional law as well. Many, perhaps even most, liberals are Rawlsians of one stripe or another. This is problematic, because most liberals also support the redefinition of civil marriage to include same-sex unions, and as I show, Rawls’s political liberalism actually prohibits same- sex marriage. Recently in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, however, California’s northern federal district court reinterpreted the traditional (...) rational basis review in terms of liberal neutrality akin to Rawls’s “public reason,” and overturned Proposition 8 and established same-sex marriage. (This reinterpretation was amplified in the 9th Circuit Court’s decision upholding the district court on appeal in Perry v. Brown.) But on its own grounds Perry should have drawn the opposite conclusion. This is because all the available arguments for recognizing same-sex unions as civil marriages stem from controversial comprehensive doctrines about the good, and this violates the ideal of public reason; yet there remains a publicly reasonable argument for traditional marriage, which I sketch here. In the course of my argument I develop Rawls’s politically liberal account of the family by drawing upon work by J. David Velleman and H. L. A. Hart, and discuss the implications of this account for political theory and constitutional law. (shrink)
Allen Buchanan has argued that a widely defended view of the nature of the state – the view that the state is a discretionary association for the mutual advantage of its members – must be rejected because it cannot adequately account for moral requirements of humanitarian intervention. This paper argues that Buchanan’s objection is unsuccessful,and moreover, that discretionary association theories can preserve an important distinction that Buchanan’s alternative approach to political legitimacy cannot: the distinction between “internal” legitimacy (a state’s (...) ability to morally justify itself to its own members) and “external” legitimacy (a state’s ability to morally justify itself to humanity more broadly). (shrink)
This is a review article of Charles Beitz's 2009 book on the philosophy of human rights, The Idea of Human Rights. The article provides a charitable overview of the book's main arguments, but also raises some doubts about the depth of the distinction between Beitz's 'practical' approach to humans rights and its 'naturalistic' counterparts.
In recent developments in political and legal philosophy, there is a tendency to endorse minimalist lists of human rights which do not include a right to political participation. Against such tendencies, I shall argue that the right to political participation, understood as distinct from a right to democracy, should have a place even on minimalist lists. In addition, I shall defend the need to extend the right to political participation to include participation not just in (...) national, but also in international and global governance processes. The argument will be based on a cosmopolitan conception of political legitimacy and on a political conception of human rights that is normatively anchored in legitimacy. The central claim of my paper is that a right to political participation is necessary – but not sufficient – for political legitimacy in the global realm. (shrink)
This comprehensive study of Aristotle's Politics argues that nature, justice, and rights are central to Aristotle's political thought. Miller challenges the widely held view that the concept of rights is alien to Aristotle's thought, and presents evidence for talk of rights in Aristotle's writings. He argues further that Aristotle's theory of justice supports claims of individual rights that are political and based in nature.
This paper responds to recent criticism from Alejandro Agafonow. In section I, I argue that the dilemma that Agafonow points to – while real – is in no way unique to liberal peacebuilding. Rather, it arises with respect to any foreign involvement in post-conflict reconstruction. I argue further that Agafonow’s proposal for handling this dilemma suffers from several shortcomings: first, it provides no sense of the magnitude and severity of the “oppressive practices” that peacebuilders should be willing to institutionalize. Second, (...) it provides no sense of a time frame within which we can hope that endogenous liberalization should emerge in the local political culture. Finally, it provides no suggestion for what the international community should do if the desired liberalization should fail to materialize within that time frame. In section II, I show that Agafonow’s argument resonates poorly with the concepts and ideas that he claims to adopt from Rawls’s Political Liberalism. Instead, his argument evokes the guiding ideas behind Rawls’s later work The Law of Peoples. I offer a critical perspective on these ideas, focusing specifically on Rawls’s treatment of women’s rights. Section III applies this critical perspective to Agafonow’s arguments, before closing with an example of a more constructive and empirically informed approach that critical studies of post-conflict reconstruction could take. (shrink)
This introduction emphasises the relevance of the theoretical feminist reflection presented by Wendy Brown in her Politics Out of History . The Italian translation of the book, which introduces Brown’s thought to the Italian public for the first time, provides the opportunity to deepen the understanding of her feminist contribution to the comprehension of the crisis of sovereignty. The book, in fact, could be investigated as a sort of link between, on the one hand, 1990s Brown’s reflection on the crisis (...) of liberal universalism, political modernity and on the gendered constructions of such concepts as State and citizenship and, on the other, her more recent analysis on the reconfiguration of power and sovereignty in the age of globalization as expressed in her 2010 Walled States, Waning Sovereignty . At the core of her reflection, a crucial role has been played by the deconstruction of the nexus freedom-power-rights that enlightens the ambiguities, the semantic ambivalences and the political-theoretical traps inherent in the linear and progressive narration of political modernity. (shrink)
This work is a controversial collection of interrelated papers investigating and arguing about issues of concern to lawyers and politicians today. MacCormick combines a scholarly concern with leading thinkers such as John Locke, Lord Stair, Adam Smith and David Hume, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and Patrick Atiyah, and stringently argued view of questions of political obligation, civil liberty, and legal rights.
In this essay I develop and defend a theory of state punishment within a wider conception of political legitimacy. While many moral theories of punishment focus on what is deserved by criminals, I theorize punishment within the specific context of the state’s relationship to its citizens. Central to my account is Rawls’s “liberal principle of legitimacy,” which requires that all state coercion be justifiable to all citizens. I extend this idea to the justification of political coercion to criminals (...) qua citizens. I argue that the liberal principle of legitimacy implicitly requires states to respect the basic politicalrights of those who are guilty of committing crimes, thus prohibiting capital punishment. (shrink)
What is liberalism in the post-9/11 world? What do the ideals of civilization and civility mean during the Bush administration's campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq? Is liberalism still important? Cornell examines the most important scholars of today and their approach to these questions. She contrasts Amartya Sen's capabilities approach with that of Martha Nussbaum, and examines Adorno's salvaging the idea of progress. She critiques Richard Falk's justification of the bombing of Afghanistan, which has now led to the slippery slope that (...) Falk feared and could not defend against. Cornell also examines the ideal of civility as defined by Etienne Balibar and Thomas Nagel, with important implications for the world community. (shrink)
In the past twenty years Joseph Raz has consolidated his reputation as one of the most acute, inventive, and energetic scholars currently at work in analytic moral and political theory. This new collection of essays forms a representative selection of his most significant contributions to a number of important debates, including the extent of political duty and obligation, and the issue of self-determination. He also examines aspects of the common (and ancient) theme of the relations between law and (...) morality. This volume of essays, available in one volume for the first time, will be essential to legal philosophers and political theorists. (shrink)
Contrary to the received view, I argue that Kant, in the “Doctrine of Right”, outlines a third, republican alternative to absolutist and voluntarist conceptions of political legitimacy. According to this republican alternative, a state must meet certain institutional requirements before political obligations arise. An important result of this interpretation is not only that there are institutional restraints on a legitimate state's use of coercion, but also that the rights of the state (‘public right’) are not in principle (...) reducible to the rights of individuals (‘private right’). Thus, for Kant, political obligations are intimately linked to the existence of a certain kind of republican institutional framework. (shrink)
This paper address the challenges that have emerged in the attempt to codify and enforce international standards of minority rights. Without offering any magic solutions for overcoming all of these difficulties, my aim is to more clearly identify the challenges they raise and the pitfalls ahead of us if we ignore them. These include conceptual confusions, moral dilemmas, unintended consequences, legal inconsistencies and political manipulation. The paper concludes with some ideas about how international minority rights might be (...) institutionalized more successfully. (shrink)