Philosophy and Critical Theory

Rainer Bauböck's work on popular sovereignty, citizenship and the demos problem is an important touchstone for contemporary political, and especially democratic, theory. In this chapter, the author aims to put some pressure on the relationship between populus and demos in Bauböck's account. It is an important strength of Bauböck's argument that his account articulates complementary relations of the all affected interests (AAI) principle, the all subjection to coercion (ASC) principle and the all citizenship stakeholders (ACS) principle. The author focuses on the authorial membership of the demos. He endorses Bauböck's proposal of ASC as the best principle, under contemporary political conditions, for determining access to national citizenship. The author also explains his incorporation of AAI, ASC and ACS into an account of democratic legitimacy.

in Democratic inclusion

In this chapter, the author explains how the all subjected principle is seen in terms of a purely protective neo-republicanism, which is distinguished from the democratic republican self-government of citizenship stakeholding. She re-examines the interpretation of the neo-republican non-domination account that Rainer Bauböck associates with the all subjected principle. The connection between non-domination and autonomy leads beyond domination to the kind of self-government among related individuals that Bauböck associates with his citizenship stakeholder account. The author argues that a modified version of the all subjected principle escapes a number of the criticisms levelled at it, and provides a clear basis for membership of the demos. Finally, she offers future continuing subjection as a more defensible basis for birthright citizenship while ensuring the continuity of the democratic political community.

in Democratic inclusion
Open Access (free)

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in this book. The book focuses on the principles that guide citizens of a democratic polity and their representatives when considering whose interests should count in their political decisions, whom to offer protection, and whom to include in their midst as citizens. The principles are meant to establish democratic legitimacy through inclusion in a world structured by political boundaries. The book proposes that all affected interests (AAI), all subject to coercion (ASC) and all citizenship stakeholders (ACS) each address a specific aspect of democratic inclusion, but that only ACS applies to membership issues. It considers the following three ideas: democracy as popular self-government, as government directly accountable to citizens, and as a method for making collectively binding decisions. The book aims to combine these ideas with the corresponding inclusion principles into a comprehensive conception of democratic inclusion for democratic politics.

in Democratic inclusion

In this chapter, the author interrogates Rainer Bauböck's stakeholder model as a matter of theory and highlights possibly unsustainable empirical assumptions behind it. The intergenerational qualities of citizenship are central to Bauböck's analysis. Bauböck understands that citizenship persists only where boundaries exist and where populations remain relatively sedentary. The author utilizes the archetypes of diaspora communities to critique his position on citizenship inside and outside the territory of the state. Diaspora communities may be disconnected from the political community of their state of residence even as they maintain a strong intergenerational connection qualifying as stakeholder citizenship in the homeland. Local territorial membership also supplies a useful vehicle for interrogating stakeholder citizenship. The incidence of instrumental citizenship will continue to grow, further undermining the empirical premises of stakeholder citizenship.

in Democratic inclusion

Rainer Bauböck has offered a fascinating and wide-ranging analysis of a question that is often now referred to as "the democratic boundary problem". This chapter begins to discuss how a democracy might function, what decision rules it should use, and how it should be constituted. It addresses questions of jurisdiction first, and concludes that, for economic and other reasons, it makes sense to have a single state in the region covered by the state of Israel and the occupied territories. The chapter considers the composition of the citizen body who should govern it, as well as other questions concerning the institutional form that democracy should take in that area. It illustrates how one-state or the two-state solution makes a difference, whether the question is about jurisdiction or about inclusion in the demos.

in Democratic inclusion
Rousseau as a constitutionalist

Often presented as a proto-totalitarian, Rousseau has traditionally been seen as an opponent of constitutionalism, checks and balances, and the separation of powers. Following a brief overview of the history of constitutionalism (from Moses to the French Revolution), this chapter compares Rousseau's political writings with the writings of constitutionalists like James Madison and Baron de Montesquieu. It shows that Rousseau shared the view that checks and balances are necessary for preventing the corruption of power and that he advocated a system of the separation of powers (and spoke highly of the British constitution. Yet, contrary to the other constitutionalists, Rousseau was a democrat. Whereas Montesquieu and Madison wanted the elites to check the elites (through the introduction of second chambers and constitutional courts), Rousseau emphasised that the executive ought to be checked by the people. He thus anticipated the political system that was instated by the American populists (including Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson). However, unlike other constitutionalists, Rousseau did not believe that institutions themselves would be sufficient for creating a good polity. He ceaselessly emphasised that political education was necessary for creating a good society.

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau’s and nationalism

Previously unrecognised by scholars of nationalism, Rousseau was, in fact, the founder of the modern doctrine of nationalism. This chapter shows how Rousseau succeeded in developing a case for social cohesion and the necessity of having a common culture in a society. In developing a case for nationalism as a ‘civic profession of faith’ he continued—and redeveloped—a doctrine begun by Machiavelli, which was later to be further elaborated by Alexis de Tocqueville and present-day theorists and practitioners of social capital, like the political scientist Robert Putnam and the English politician David Blunkett. It is argued that Rousseau accomplished the feat of developing a new doctrine of civic religion (i.e., nationalism) and that he succeeded in combining a defence for this doctrine with a new place for Christianity (which was consistent with the original apolitical teachings of Christ). The chapter also presents an account of Rousseau's thinking on international politics, including something as timely as an account of his opposition against the establishment of a European superstate.

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

This chapter outlines the major philosophical problem for Rousseau: the burden of modernity. It gives an account of Rousseau's place in the emerging world of modernity, and his opposition to secularism and scientism. It shows how his general philosophical—and theological—opposition to modernity underpinned his moral philosophy. Unlike liberal or utilitarian thinkers, Rousseau sought to base his moral judgements on emotions and sensibility, not on rational calculations. It is shown how this made him overcome the poverty of ethical theory that has characterised modernity—and how Rousseau invented post-modernism (with a pre-modern face). The chapter also contains a section on Rousseau's economic philosophy, in which it is shown that he—like Adam Smith—succeeded in transcending the economic theories of mercantilists and physiocrats. An analysis of the relationship between Rousseau and Burke is also presented. Often seen as adversaries, the chapter shows that Rousseau and Burke, in fact, were in agreement on the majority of issues, including opposition to revolutionary change, reverence for religion, and a preference for gradual reform.

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Open Access (free)
In the beginning was song

This chapter presents an account of Rousseau's philosophy of music. Music was Rousseau's main passion, and this passion spilled over into his political writings in more ways than one. The whole tenor of his prose had a musical aura about it. His works were composed rather than written—which, perhaps, explains his eloquence. Readers of Rousseau's work in the original French have been struck by the rhythmical patterns. This musical quality was not unintended. Through the melodious tone he wanted to prove a philosophical point. Musicheld the key to restoring our original emotions, that natural ‘goodness of man’, which manifested itself in the natural compassion with suffering, weak, and unfortunate individuals. It is, perhaps, indicative that Rousseau—the thinker of natural goodness of man and a composer—never tired of stressing that music and song was man's first impulse.

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Open Access (free)

This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to re-open a dialogue with the classics. It attempts not only to see the masters in context—as has become popular among modern thinkers—but rather to seek inspiration from the great minds to deal with contemporary political problems. Rousseau—and indeed any other classic—is politically relevant only if he reveals timeless insights. If a classic cannot inspire he is nothing, and is better confined to the dustbin of failed political doctrines. This book is based on the premise that Rousseau speaks through the ages. It seeks to show that Rousseau, while he may not have the answers to contemporary problems, at the very least provides new angles and perspectives on the debate.

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau