Judicial review by constitutional courts is often presented as a necessary supplement to democracy. This book questions its effectiveness and legitimacy. Drawing on the republican tradition, Richard Bellamy argues that the democratic mechanisms of open elections between competing parties and decision-making by majority rule offer superior and sufficient methods for upholding rights and the rule of law. The absence of popular accountability renders judicial review a form of arbitrary rule which lacks the incentive structure democracy provides to ensure rulers treat (...) the ruled with equal concern and respect. Rights based judicial review undermines the constitutionality of democracy. Its counter-majoritarian bias promotes privileged against unprivileged minorities, while its legalism and focus on individual cases distort public debate. Rather than constraining democracy with written constitutions and greater judicial oversight, attention should be paid to improving democratic processes through such measures as reformed electoral systems and enhanced parliamentary scrutiny. (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)
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.
This chapter examines the role of law and rights for democracy in the context of republicanism. It considers the neo-republican defense of judicial review and its attempt to secure individual rights, along with the ‘adjudication’ of political and social conflicts in courts, civic equality and the political struggle among citizens as an essential component of republican democracy. It highlights the link between the very nature of a rights claim and a democratic process that ensures political equality and relates this democratic (...) argument for rights to the republican notion of liberty as nondomination. The chapter also discusses liberalism, rights and freedom as non-interference and concludes by arguing that the association of rights and democracy must be actualised within a real democratic process characterised by one person one vote, majority rule and regular elections between rival political parties. (shrink)
This article defends state sovereignty as necessary for a form of popular sovereignty capable of realising the republican value of non-domination and argues it remains achievable and normatively warranted in an interconnected world. Many scholars, including certain republicans, contend that the external sovereignty of states can no longer be maintained or justified in such circumstances. Consequently, we must abandon the sovereignty of states and reconceive popular sovereignty on a different basis. Some argue sovereignty must be displaced upwards to a more (...) global state, while others advocate it be vertically and horizontally dispersed to units below, across and above the state. Each group offers a related vision of the European Union to illustrate their proposals. Both these arguments are criticised as more likely to produce than reduce domination because neither can sustain a form of popular sovereignty capable of instantiating relations of non-domination. This article proposes the alternative of a republican association of sovereign states that allows sovereign states and their peoples to mutually regulate their external sovereignty in non-dominating ways. This alternative proposal provides a more plausible and defensible means for sustaining the requisite kind of popular sovereignty in contemporary conditions and a more appropriate vision of the European Union. (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)
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)
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)
This article is based on research funded by the E.S.R.C. under its Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme. Its contents are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the E.S.R.C. An earlier version was read to the seventh conference of the Hegel Society of Great Britain on the Philosophy of Right. The author is grateful to the participants for their helpful comments on that occasion.
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)
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)