Like many rights theorists, Peter Jones regards rights as lying outside politics and providing constraints upon it. However, he also concedes that rights are matters of reasonable disagreement and that, as a matter of fairness, disputes about them ought to be resolved democratically. In this paper I develop these concessions to argue that rights require democratic justification and that this can only be provided via a real democratic process in which those involved ?hear the other side?. I relate this argument (...) to the republican theory of non-domination, contending that it fits the Lockean project of regarding rights as constraints on arbitrary power better than liberal views that place rights outside the democratic process. I conclude by noting the implications of this argument for rights-based judicial review of legislation. (shrink)
One of the main themes of Bobbio’s writings was the relationship between law and politics. Yet an ambiguity runs through his writings on this point. He saw politics and law as intimately related, with the one entailed by the other. Yet, the tautologous relationship he saw as existing between the two posed a potential problem – what could be called the Hobbes challenge. For if politics is impossible without law, yet all law flows from politics, then we seem faced with (...) a dilemma of either a vicious circle or an infinite regress. Bobbio never really confronted this dilemma, although in a bid to escape the prospect of the Hobbesian lawless sovereign he gestured towards a natural law solution at odds with his legal positivism. Instead, this article suggests an alternative in precisely the non-sovereign account of politics Hobbes criticized, that of a republican democracy based on political equality rather than popular sovereignty. In this account, the rule of law can be reconciled with the rule of persons precisely because men must rule together as rulers and ruled in turn, rather than any one or group of them permanently ruling over the others. Law on this account results from a particular type of politics. (shrink)
Can liberal ideals clean up dirty politicians or politics? This article doubts they can. It disputes that a ‘clean’ liberal person might inhabit the dirty clothes of the real politician, or that a clean depoliticized liberal constitution can constrain real-world dirty politics. Nevertheless, the need for a democratic prince to wear clean liberal gloves offers a necessary and effective political restraint. It also means that citizens share the hypocrisy and dirt of those who serve them — for we legitimize the (...) dirtiness of politics by requiring politicians to seem cleaner than we know they ever can be in reality. (shrink)
This article discusses the normative implications of the European integration process by addressing the question of the legitimacy deficit in the EU and its member states. It starts from an analysis of legitimacy as implying a distinction between `polity' and `regime', each of which has an `internal' and an `external' dimension relating respectively to the subjective perceptions of citizens and to more objective- and universalist-oriented criteria. Standard accounts of the integration process and the constitutionalisation of the EU have overlooked the (...) complex ways in which polity- and regime-building interact. They have also emphasized the external legitimacy of the EU while neglecting the internal dimension. Both descriptively and prescriptively, the EU lies in between the interpretations offered by neofunctionalist or intergovernmental realists and federal idealists. The `internal' norms channelled through the EU's `regime' have helped form the economic interests appealed to by the former, but in rather different ways to that assumed by the latter. The result has been a polycentric `polity' with a multi-level `regime'. Consequently, we reject having either an EU written constitution that goes beyond the treaties or a federal legislature, advocating instead the `republican' model of a `mixed commonwealth'. (shrink)
In Liberalism and Pluralism, Richard Bellamy explores the challenges posed by conflicting values, interests and identities to liberal democracy. Conventional liberal thought is no longer suited to the complex, plural societies of today. By analyzing the three major strands of liberal thought as represented by Hayek, Rawls and Walzer, the author reveals how standard liberalism has tried to circumvent unstable settlements. This book establishes a more satisfactory alternative: namely, negotiated compromise.
Michel Foucault (1926-84) was one of the most renowned of late 20th century social philosophers. He covered an enormous range: from sexuality to prisons; from identity to power; from knowledge to politics. The essays written for this book range over all of Foucault's work, but their main critical focus is upon objectivity, power and knowledge. The very possibility of a critical stance is a recurring theme in all of Foucault's works, and the contributors vary in the ways that they relate (...) to his key views on truth and reason in relation to power and government. (shrink)
The Austrian school tends to associate the morality of the market with its efficient operation. Consequently, it criticizes attempts to offer an ethical evaluation of the market for not understanding how the market works. This criticism proves correct with regard to those who would seek to run an economy according to a set of predetermined moral criteria, such as socialist advocates of central planning or Victorian moralists who regarded the market as the embodiment of the desert ethic. However, if the (...) market trades on moral resources it does not create, this may justify placing it within a more substantive moral framework that establishes its ethical basis and limits. (shrink)