Today democracy is both exalted as the "best means to realize human rights" and seen as weakened because of globalization and delegation of authority beyond the nation-state. In this provocative book, James Bohman argues that democracies face a period of renewal and transformation and that democracy itself needs redefinition according to a new transnational ideal. Democracy, he writes, should be rethought in the plural; it should no longer be understood as rule by the people, singular, with a specific territorial identification (...) and connotation, but as rule by peoples, across national boundaries. Bohman shows that this new conception of transnational democracy requires reexamination of such fundamental ideas as the people, the public, citizenship, human rights, and federalism, and he argues that it offers a feasible approach to realizing democracy in a globalized world.In his account, Bohman establishes the conceptual foundations of transnational democracy by examining in detail current theories of democracy beyond the nation-state and offers a deliberative alternative. He considers the importance of communicative freedom in the transnational public sphere, human rights as the normative basis of transnational democracy, and the European Union as a transnational polity. Finally, he examines the relationship between peace and democracy, concluding that peace requires democratization on interacting state and suprastate levels. (shrink)
Bohman develops a realistic model of deliberation by gradually introducing and analyzing the major tests facing deliberative democracy: cultural pluralism, social inequalities, social complexity, and community-wide biases and ideologies.
Political liberals now defend what Rawls calls the "inclusive view" of public reason with the appropriate ideal of reasonable pluralism. Against the application of such a liberal conception of toleration to deliberative democracy "the open view of toleration is with no constraints" is the only regime of toleration that can be democratically justified. Recent debates about the public or nonpublic character of religious reasons provide a good test case and show why liberal deliberative theories are intolerant and fail to live (...) up to democratic obligations to provide justifications to all members of the deliberative community. In a deliberative democracy, accommodations to religious minorities must be based on transformations in the current reflective equilibrium among the norms that make up the complex democratic ideal. This is not merely a conceptual enterprise of commensuration, since the need for any such transformation in standards of justification is due to changes in the nature of the polity itself, changes that in turn modify its regime of toleration. (shrink)
It is often assumed that democracies can make good use of the epistemic benefi ts of diversity among their citizenry, but difficult to show why this is the case. In a deliberative democracy, epistemically relevant diversity has three aspects: the diversity of opinions, values, and perspectives. Deliberative democrats generally argue for an epistemic form of Rawls' difference principle: that good deliberative practice ought to maximize deliberative inputs, whatever they are, so as to benefi t all deliberators, including the least eff (...) ective. The proper maximandum of such a principle is not the pool of reasons, but rather the availability of perspectives. Th is sort of diversity makes robustness across different perspectives the proper epistemic aim of deliberative processes. Robustness also offers a measure of success for those democratic practices of inquiry based on the deliberation of all citizens. (shrink)
In 1795 Immanuel Kant published an essay entitled "Toward Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch." The immediate occasion for the essay was the March 1795 signing of the Treaty of Basel by Prussia and revolutionary France, which Kant condemned as only "the suspension of hostilities, not a peace." In the essay, Kant argues that it is humankind's immediate duty to solve the problem of violence and enter into the cosmopolitan ideal of a universal community of all peoples governed by the rule (...) of law.The essay's two-hundredth anniversary, 1995, also marked the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II and of the establishment of the Charter of the United Nations. The essays in this volume were written for a conference held in Frankfurt in May 1995 to commemorate these three anniversaries. Together, the authors argue for the continued theoretical and practical relevance of the cosmopolitan ideals of Kant's essay. They also show that history has both confirmed and outstripped Kant's prognoses. As recent events have shown, we certainly have not emerged from the violence of the state of nature. Accelerating globalization also gives these reconstructions and reappraisals of Kant's cosmopolitan ideal a new urgency.Contributors : Karl-Otto Apel, Kenneth Baynes, James Bohman, Jürgen Habermas, David Held, Axel Honneth, Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, Thomas McCarthy, Martha Nussbaum. (shrink)
The selectionsfrom the work of fourteen contemporary philosophers not only display the multiplicity of approachesbeing pursued since the breakup of any consensus on what philosophy is, but also help to clarifythis proliferation of views and ...
This article defends methodological and theoretical pluralism in the social sciences. While pluralistic, such a philosophy of social science is both pragmatic and normative. Only by facing the problems of such pluralism, including how to resolve the potential conflicts between various methods and theories, is it possible to discover appropriate criteria of adequacy for social scientific explanations and interpretations. So conceived, the social sciences do not give us fixed and universal features of the social world, but rather contribute to the (...) task of improving upon our practical knowledge of on-going social life. After arguing for such a thorough-going pluralism based on the indeterminacy of social action, I defend it from the post-modern and hermeneutic objections by suggesting the possibility of an epistemology of interpretive social science as a form of practical knowledge. (shrink)
Bohman argues that "transnational democracy provides the basis for a solution to the problem of the “democratic circle”—that in order for democracy to promote justice, it must already be just—at the international level. Transnational democracy could be a means to global justice.".
A hallmark of recent critical social science has been the commitment to methodological and theoretical pluralism. Habermas and others have argued that diverse theoretical and empirical approaches are needed to support informed social criticism. However, an unresolved tension remains in the epistemology of critical social science: the tension between the epistemic advantages of a single comprehensive theoretical framework and those of methodological and theoretical pluralism. By shifting the grounds of the debate in a way suggested by Dewey's pragmatism, the author (...) argues that a thoroughgoing pluralism strengthens, rather than weakens, both the social scientific and political aims of critical social science. Not only does pragmatism offer a plausible interpretation of the epistemic pluralism of the social sciences, but it also provides a way of thinking about their fundamentally practical and political character. With a better normative vocabulary with which to discuss the epistemological issues of such a pluralistic mode of inquiry, the democratic role of critical inquiry and its specifically practical form of verification can be clarified. (shrink)
Robert Pippin's masterful account of rational agency in Hegel emphasizes important dimensions of freedom and independence, where putative independence is always bound up with a profound dependence on others. This insistence on the complex relationships between freedom, dependence and independence raise an important question that Pippin does not consider: is Hegel a republican? This is especially significant given the fact that modern republicanism has explored this same conceptual terrain. I argue that a form of republicanism is in fact an important (...) aspect of Hegel's theory of freedom, and this should lead us to moderate Pippin's account of the conservative side of Hegel's conception of social dependence. These affinities mean that even if Hegel does not fully endorse contemporary versions of republicanism (such as that of Philip Pettit), he shares core features of the republican view of domination and freedom. In fact, Hegel is a republican to the extent that he shares what Pippin calls ?that noble nineteenth century idea that my freedom depends upon the freedom of others?. Or, to put it in a more directly republican way typical of the eighteenth century, the freedom of each is dependent upon the freedom of all and thus freedom exists only if it is shared. As developed by Pippin, Hegel's conception of shared freedom is inadequate to the extent that it cannot give a full account of the possibilities of domination and dependence in modern institutions, I illustrate this difficulty through examples taken from Hegel's Philosophy of Right, including marriage, markets, and political deliberation. (shrink)
With her conception of epistemic injustice, Miranda Fricker has opened up new normative dimensions for epistemology; that is, the injustice of denying one?s status as a knower. While her analysis of the remedies for such injustices focuses on the epistemic virtues of agents, I argue for the normative superiority of adapting a broadly republican conception of epistemic injustice. This argument for a republican epistemology has three steps. First, I focus on methodological and explanatory issues of identifying epistemic injustice and argue, (...) against Fricker, that identity prejudice fails to provide a sufficient explanatory basis for the spread and maintenance of such systematic epistemic injustice. Second, this systemic basis can be found not so much in the psychological attitudes of individual knowers, but in the relations of domination among groups and individuals in a society. Third, if such a presence of domination plays a primary explanatory role in all forms of epistemic injustice, it is likely that those who suffer from epistemic injustice will also suffer other forms of injustice and loss of status via the exercise of other forms of power and exclusion. (shrink)
. The paper discusses a needed double transformation of democracy, of its institutional form and its normative ideal, in three steps. First, the Author takes for granted that the empirical fact of the increasing scope and intensity of global interaction and interdependence are not sufficient to decide the issue between gradualists and transformationalists. Indeed, gradualists and transformationalists share an underlying conception that leads to a particular emphasis in modern theories on legal institutions. This same set of problems emerges in contemporary (...) conceptions of cosmopolitan democracy, especially those formulated by Held and Habermas. Second, he considers the more decentered alternatives, which make contestation through global networks the central feature of democracy beyond the state. Third, he develops an alternative, plural, and decentered conception based on an account of democratization outside the nation state, not on a particular version of the democratic ideal.*. (shrink)
Although eighteenth-century Federalists, including James Madison, have been associated with the very contemporary idea of a transnational political order, the argument that the modern state with its centralised authority and supreme power poses a threat to liberty was already a subject of discussions during the period. The American Constitution was intended to establish a new political order, rather than a loose federation or an enlarged state. The Framers were not alone in their preoccupation with a transnational order; the German philosopher (...) Immanuel Kant struggled with the same issues of liberty and security in his political essays. This chapter examines how Madison and Kant grapppled with the problem of transnational order in the context of democracy and republicanism. It looks at the issues addressed by Kant and Madison that are closely related to those discussed today, including diversity, popular sovereignty and political violence. The chapter suggests that Kant and Madison, along with many other republicans of the time, explored the idea of government without resorting to the models of small-scale, ancient republics. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider the recent resurgence of “evolutionary economics”—the idea that evolutionary theory can be very useful to push forward key debates in economics—and assess the extent to which it rests on a plausible foundation. To do this, I first distinguish two ways in which evolutionary theory can, in principle, be brought to bear on an economic problem—namely, evidentially and heuristically—and then apply this distinction to the three major hypotheses that evolutionary economists have come to defend: the implausibility (...) of rational choice theory as an account of economic rationality, the idea that firms are autonomous economic agents, and the need for a more dynamic, less equilibrium-focused economic methodology. In each of these cases, I conclude negatively: the relevant evolutionary considerations neither suggest interesting and novel hypotheses to investigate further nor are backed up by the needed data to constitute genuine evidence. I end by distinguishing this criticism of evolutionary economics from others that have been put forward in the literature: in particular, I make clear that, unlike those of other critics, the arguments of this paper are based on epistemic—not structural—considerations and therefore leave more room for a plausible form of evolutionary economics to come about in the future. (shrink)
The European Union stands before a constitutional moment. While some deny the need for a constitution and others want a familiar federal form, I argue that one of the main goals of the constitutional convention ought to be to make the European Union more democratic. The central question is: what sort of democracy is suggested by some of the more novel aspects of European integration? This question demands a normative standard by which to evaluate the realization of democracy in transnational (...) polities. Along republican lines, the proper standard is nondomination. With this normative framework in mind, the problem that the constitution has to solve is juridification, or the possibility of legal domination where there is no unified sovereignty. The solution to this problem of legal domination requires that the constitution institute a reflexive legal order best realized in a deliberative federalism appropriate to a polycentric and diverse polity. Finally, the institutions of this federalism ought also to be characterized through their distinctive form of inquiry, which, borrowing from Gerald Ruggie, I call ‘multiperspectival’. In a transnational polity with multiple demoi, such a democracy is best realized through dispersed and plural forms of authority and in a differentiated institutional structure anchored in a reflexive constitution. (shrink)
It is a special privilege for me to have my book, Democracy across borders, discussed by insightful critics, all of whom in one way or another have contributed to emerging thinking about democracy, globalization, and international institutions. But it is also a privilege to have it discussed in this particular journal, which I see as a very good example of a transnational (rather than international) space for reflection and communication on matters of global politics. It is transnational, at least in (...) part; not just because of what is discussed here, but also because of the norms that underlie its public form of communication: the norm of open access by which some of the barriers for the exercise of communicative freedom across borders are removed. Such communicative spaces did not exist even 10 years ago, although some people were already attempting to find new ways to realize communicative freedom. Other scholars may have objected that scholarly discussion should not be conducted this way, that it violated established norms of the profession and would always be marginal. However, those making such objections realized that the idea of open access would be potentially transformative, allowing the emergence of new publics and creating a dynamic process by which the norms of communicative freedom would be realized and strengthened by new institutions. Such a process might be described as transnationalization, a process that fills out the communicative infrastructure on which novel publics are based and through which they can reconstitute themselves for a variety of political purposes. (Published: 5 February 2010) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2010, pp. 71-84. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v3i1.4855. (shrink)
My goal here is to come to terms with the Enlightenment as the horizon of critical social science. First, I consider in more detail the understanding of the Enlightenment in Critical Theory, particularly in its conception of the sociality of reason. Second, I develop an account of freedom in terms of human powers, along the lines of recent capability conceptions that link freedom to the development of human powers, including the power to interpret and create norms. Finally, I show the (...) ways in which the social sciences can be moral sciences in the Enlightenment sense. This account provides us with a coherent Enlightenment standard by which to judge institutions as promoting development, understood in terms of the capabilities necessary for freedom. The relevant social science in this area might include the robust generalization that there has never been a famine in a democratic society. (shrink)