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Is Democracy Possible Here

Author: Ronald Dworkin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400827272
Size: 24.39 MB
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Politics in America are polarized and trivialized, perhaps as never before. In Congress, the media, and academic debate, opponents from right and left, the Red and the Blue, struggle against one another as if politics were contact sports played to the shouts of cheerleaders. The result, Ronald Dworkin writes, is a deeply depressing political culture, as ill equipped for the perennial challenge of achieving social justice as for the emerging threats of terrorism. Can the hope for change be realized? Dworkin, one the world's leading legal and political philosophers, identifies and defends core principles of personal and political morality that all citizens can share. He shows that recognizing such shared principles can make substantial political argument possible and help replace contempt with mutual respect. Only then can the full promise of democracy be realized in America and elsewhere. Dworkin lays out two core principles that citizens should share: first, that each human life is intrinsically and equally valuable and, second, that each person has an inalienable personal responsibility for identifying and realizing value in his or her own life. He then shows what fidelity to these principles would mean for human rights, the place of religion in public life, economic justice, and the character and value of democracy. Dworkin argues that liberal conclusions flow most naturally from these principles. Properly understood, they collide with the ambitions of religious conservatives, contemporary American tax and social policy, and much of the War on Terror. But his more basic aim is to convince Americans of all political stripes--as well as citizens of other nations with similar cultures--that they can and must defend their own convictions through their own interpretations of these shared values.

Is Democracy Possible Here

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Size: 63.27 MB
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Politics in America are polarized and trivialized, perhaps as never before. In Congress, the media, and academic debate, opponents from right and left, the Red and the Blue, struggle against one another as if politics were contact sports played to the sho.

Partisanship And Political Liberalism In Diverse Societies

Author: MATTEO. BONOTTI
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198739508
Size: 65.66 MB
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Since its publication in 1993, John Rawls's Political Liberalism has been central to debates concerning political legitimacy, democratic theory, toleration, and multiculturalism in contemporary political theory. Yet, despite the immense body of literature which has been produced since Rawls's work was published, very little has been said or written regarding the place of political parties and partisanship within political liberalism. This book aims to fill this gap in the literature. Its central argument is that political liberalism needs and nourishes political parties, and that political parties are therefore not hostile but vital to it. First, partisanship generates its own distinctive kind of political obligations, additional to any political obligations people may have qua ordinary citizens. Second, contrary to what many critics argue, and despite its admittedly restrictive features, Rawls's conception of public reason allows significant scope for partisan advocacy and partisan pluralism, and in fact the very normative demands of partisanship are in syntony with those of public reason. Third, parties contribute to the overlapping consensus that for Rawls guarantees stability in diverse societies. Fourth, political liberalism nourishes political parties, by leaving many issues, including religious and socio-economic ones, open to democratic contestation. In summary, parties contribute both to the legitimacy and to the stability of political liberalism.

A Theory Of Legitimate Expectations For Public Administration

Author: Alexander Brown
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192545558
Size: 19.11 MB
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It is an unfortunate but unavoidable feature of even well-ordered democratic societies that governmental administrative agencies often create legitimate expectations (procedural or substantive) on the part of non-governmental agents (individual citizens, groups, businesses, organizations, institutions, and instrumentalities) but find themselves unable to fulfil those expectations for reasons of justice, the public interest, severe financial constraints, and sometimes harsh political realities. How governmental administrative agencies, operating on behalf of society, handle the creation and frustration of legitimate expectations implicates a whole host of values that we have reason to care about, including under non-ideal conditions-not least justice, fairness, autonomy, the rule of law, responsible uses of power, credible commitments, reliance interests, security of expectations, stability, democracy, parliamentary supremacy, and legitimate authority. This book develops a new theory of legitimate expectations for public administration drawing on normative arguments from political and legal theory. Brown begins by offering a new account of the legitimacy of legitimate expectations. He argues that it is the very responsibility of governmental administrative agencies for creating expectations that ought to ground legitimacy, as opposed to the justice or the legitimate authority of those agencies and expectations. He also clarifies some of the main ways in which agencies can be responsible for creating expectations. Moreover, he argues that governmental administrative agencies should be held liable for losses they directly cause by creating and then frustrating legitimate expectations on the part of non-governmental agents and, if liable, have an obligation to make adequate compensation payments in respect of those losses.

The Harbinger Theory

Author: Robert Diab
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190243252
Size: 28.30 MB
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North American law has been transformed in ways unimaginable before 9/11. Laws now authorize and courts have condoned indefinite detention without charge based on secret evidence, mass secret surveillance, and targeted killing of US citizens, suggesting a shift in the cultural currency of a liberal form of legality to authoritarian legality. The Harbinger Theory demonstrates that extreme measures have been consistently embraced in politics, scholarship, and public opinion, not in terms of a general fear of the greater threat that terrorism now poses, but a more specific belief that 9/11 was the harbinger of a new order of terror, giving rise to the likelihood of an attack on the same scale as 9/11 or greater in the near future, involving thousands of casualties and possibly weapons of mass destruction. It explains how the harbinger theory shapes debates about rights and security by virtue of rhetorical strategies on the part of political leaders and security experts, and in works of popular culture, in which the theory is often invoked as a self-evident truth, without the need for supporting evidence or authority. It also reveals how liberal advocates tend to be deferential to the theory, aiding its deeper entrenchment through the absence of a prominent public critique of it. In a unique overview of a range of skeptical evidence about the likelihood of mass terror involving WMD or conventional means, this book contends that a potentially more effective basis for reform advocacy is not to dismiss overstated threat claims as implausible or psychologically grounded, but to challenge the harbinger theory directly through the use of contrary evidence.

Relational Democracy

Author: Pedro Ibarra Güell
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 52.47 MB
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"The author argues in favor of relational democracy, a theory designed to achieve greater concurrence between citizens' wishes and leaders' decisions; he believes this would encourage a more democratic society than those political systems based on representative democracy alone. The author also applies his model of relational democracy to the Basque Country"--Provided by publisher.

The New American Social Compact

Author: Jane A. Grant
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780739119761
Size: 61.37 MB
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The New American Social Compact examines the need to redefine the social compact in twenty-first-century America. Grant explores the two components of this compact_the rights and obligations of citizenship_as well as what she sees as the four substantive areas that are critical to realizing a new social compact in America. Grant proposes a new social compact that would honor the expansion of civil, political, and social rights in America and would integrate these rights within a new civic procedural ethos, clarifying our obligations to each other, future generations, other nations, and other species.