There is a world-wide debate at the moment about the appropriate role for the state in modern societies in the light of the world financial crisis. This book provides a comprehensive analysis and critique of Neo-liberal or economic liberal ideas on this issue.
This paper focuses on the idea of the rule of law as found in neo-liberal political and legal theory. The central argument is that it is not possible to produce an account of the rule of law and its basic building blocks in such theories—namely freedom, rights and justice—without reference to a set of shared substantive values. The crucial argument is that if freedom is understood negatively, as the absence of coercion, it is not in fact possible to produce an (...) account of coercion which detaches it from conceptions of the good. The impact of this argument is then analysed in relation to a range of themes, one of the central ones of which is that on the neo-liberal view the welfare state cannot be made compatible with the rule of law. The case for this important view is rejected in the paper. (shrink)
This article examines the issues raised by religious adherents’ wish to express their beliefs in the public domain through, for example, their modes of dress, their performance of public roles, and their response to homosexuality. It considers on what grounds religion might merit special treatment and how special that treatment should be. A common approach to these issues is through the notion of religious identity, but both the idea of religious identity and its use to ground claims against others prove (...) deeply problematic. An alternative and more productive approach is through the notion of harm. People should enjoy the freedom to express their religious convictions subject to the harm principle, but harm should include the undermining of people’s status as free and equal citizens. The article concludes by considering the grounds upon which this alternative approach might recognize religion as special and might justify giving an overriding status to civic equality. (shrink)
First published in 1973 this volume demonstrates the interconnection between Hegel's political and metaphysical writings. This book provides a point of entry into Hegel's system of ideas. Condemned unread, and when read far too often misunderstood, Hegel's thought has once more begun to make its impact on contemporary ideas with many of today's most important social and political thinkers.