biggest impact of the entire post-1945 era. Faced with
atrocity, crisis, danger and threat, sovereignty could be challenged, whether through R2P, the
demands of the ICC, universal jurisdiction, human rights, the Genocide Convention, crimes
against humanity and so on. What made this possible was the lack of a state capable of
challenging the US, which was explicitly committed in principle to economic and politicalliberalism (even as it found ways to exempt itself from the impact of those rules). And even
where intervention did not occur, and the
The idea of toleration as the appropriate response to difference has been central to liberal thought since Locke. Although the subject has been widely and variously explored, there has been reluctance to acknowledge the new meaning that current debates offer on toleration. This book starts from a clear recognition of the new terms of the debate, reflecting the capacity of seeing the other's viewpoint, and the limited extent to which toleration can be granted. Theoretical statements on toleration posit at the same time its necessity in democratic societies, and its impossibility as a coherent ideal. There are several possible objections to, and ways of developing the ideal of, reasonable tolerance as advocated by John Rawls and by some other supporters of political liberalism. The first part of the book explores some of them. In some real-life conflicts, it is unclear on whom the burden of reasonableness may fall. This part discusses the reasonableness of pluralism, and general concept and various more specific conceptions of toleration. The forces of progressive politics have been divided into two camps: redistribution and recognition. The second part of the book is an attempt to explore the internal coherence of such a transformation when applied to different contexts. It argues that openness to others in discourse, and their treatment as free and equal, is part of a kind of reflexive toleration that pertains to public communication in the deliberative context. Social ethos, religious discrimination and education are discussed in connection with tolerance.
justifiable to all citizens – to each and every one – by
addressing their reason, theoretical and practical. Again: a justification of the
institutions of the social world must be, in principle, available to everyone,
and so justifiable to all who live under them. The legitimacy of a liberal regime
depends on such a justification’.32 In probably his most succinct and influential
statement of what he called ‘the liberal principle of legitimacy’ in PoliticalLiberalism, Rawls wrote that ‘Our exercise of political power is fully proper
only when it is exercised in accordance
reference to the interconnected notions of the “opacity” of law’s purpose, of lawmaking as proceeding from power,
and of power itself. Finally, I will focus on the pars construens of
Menke’s essay –namely, his reformulation of Benjamin’s notion of
“Entsetzung des Rechts” as a liberation or “relief ” of the law that
consists in its reflectively accepting its own “other” within itself
without juridifying it –and will comment on its relation to the
fundamentals of politicalliberalism.
Deconstructing the deconstruction of the law
1. The “paradox” of the law
politics. In seeking to establish more democratic and pluralist
forms of politics, liberalism’s critics seek to break with the legal
epistemology and the correspondingly limited forms of legitimacy that the
dichotomies entail in practice. Following the discussion in the previous
chapter it is now possible to theoretically examine state socialism and the
practice of new social movements as paradigm examples of movements which try
This book focuses on the paradoxical character of law and specifically concerns the structural violence of law as the political imposition of normative order onto a "lawless" condition. The paradox of law which grounds and motivates Christoph Menke's intervention is that law is both the opposite of violence and, at the same time, a form of violence. The book develops its engagement with the paradox of law in two stages. The first shows why, and in what precise sense, the law is irreducibly characterized by structural violence. The second explores the possibility of law becoming self-reflectively aware of its own violence and, hence, of the form of a self-critique of law in view of its own violence. The Book's philosophical claims are developed through analyses of works of drama: two classical tragedies in the first part and two modern dramas in the second part. It attempts to illuminate the paradoxical nature of law by way of a philosophical interpretation of literature. There are at least two normative orders within the European ethical horizon that should be called "legal orders" even though they forego the use of coercion and are thus potentially nonviolent. These are international law and Jewish law. Understanding the relationship between law and violence is one of the most urgent challenges a postmodern critical legal theory faces today. Self-reflection, the philosophical concept that plays a key role in the essay, stands opposed to all forms of spontaneity.
Nationalism has reasserted itself today as the political force of our times, remaking European politics wherever one looks. Britain is no exception, and in the midst of Brexit, it has even become a vanguard of nationalism's confident return to the mainstream. Brexit, in the course of generating a historically unique standard of sociopolitical uncertainty and constitutional intrigue, tore apart the two-party compact that had defined the parameters of political contestation for much of twentieth-century Britain. This book offers a wide-ranging picture of the different theoretical accounts relevant to addressing nationalism. It briefly repudiates the increasingly common attempts to read contemporary politics through the lens of populism. The book explores the assertion of 'muscular liberalism' and civic nationalism. It examines more traditional, conservative appeals to racialised notions of blood, territory, purity and tradition as a means of reclaiming the nation. The book also examines how neoliberalism, through its recourse to discourses of meritocracy, entrepreneurial self and individual will, alongside its exaltation of a 'points-system' approach to the ills of immigration, engineers its own unique rendition of the nationalist crisis. There are a number of important themes through which the process of liberal nationalism can be documented - what Arun Kundnani captured, simply and concisely, as the entrenchment of 'values racism'. These include the 'faux-feminist' demonisation of Muslims.
German philosopher Jürgen Habermas has written extensively on the European Union.
This is the only in-depth account of his project. Published now in a second
edition to coincide with the celebration of his ninetieth birthday, a new
preface considers Habermas’s writings on the eurozone and refugee crises,
populism and Brexit, and the presidency of Emmanuel Macron. Placing an
emphasis on the conception of the EU that informs Habermas’s political
prescriptions, the book is divided into two main parts. The first considers the
unfolding of 'social modernity' at the level of the EU. Among the
subjects covered are Habermas's concept of juridification, the
latter's affinities with integration theories such as neofunctionalism, and
the application of Habermas's democratic theory to the EU. The second part
addresses 'cultural modernity' in Europe – 'Europessimism'
is argued to be a subset of the broader cultural pessimism that assailed the
project of modernity in the late twentieth century, and with renewed intensity
in the years since 9/11. Interdisciplinary in approach, this book engages
with European/EU studies, critical theory, political theory, international
relations, intellectual history, comparative literature, and philosophy. Concise
and clearly written, it will be of interest to students, scholars and
professionals with an interest in these disciplines, as well as to a broader
readership concerned with the future of Europe
basic liberty in his more recent book
PoliticalLiberalism . 28 But he accepts that freedom of occupation can be secured
without the principle of fair equality of opportunity being satisfied. 29 Freedom of occupation,
when it is conceived as a negative liberty in Rawls’s preferred way,
in effect as the absence of state-directed labour, does not seem to require
equal chances of success for the similarly endowed and motivated. (Nor does
Barry claims that what follows is scepticism, understood as doubt rather
than denial.5 Since we cannot persuade others of the truth of our own conception of the good, we must hold that conception with some doubt, and
doubt is all that is necessary in order to generate (moderate) scepticism.
Rawls, however, resists this conclusion because he believes that politicalliberalism ought, so far as possible, to stand back from questions of the
highest good and from metaphysical and philosophical questions generally.
In a society characterised by reasonable pluralism