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The Communitarian Constitution

Author: Beau Breslin
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801885389
Size: 46.56 MB
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Bowling Alone, the title of Robert Putnam's 1995 article (later a bestselling book) perfectly captured a sense of national unease: Somewhere along the way, America had become a nation divided by apathy, and the bonds that held together civil society were disappearing. But while the phrase resonated with our growing sense of atomization, it didn't describe a new phenomenon. The fear that isolation has eroded our social bonds had simmered for at least two decades, when communitarianism first emerged as a cogent political philosophy. Communitarianism, as explained in the works of Michael Sandel, Alasdair MacIntyre, Amitai Etzioni, and others, elevates the idea of communal good over the rights of individuals. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, communitarianism gained popular and political ground. The Clintons touted its principles in the '90s, and the two presidents Bush make frequent references to its central tenets. In its short life, the philosophy has generated plenty of books, both pro and con. Beau Breslin's authoritative and original examination, The Communitarian Constitution, contributes to the debate from a wholly original standpoint. Existing critiques focus on the debate between liberalism and communitarianism—in other words, the conflict between individual rights and the communal good. Breslin takes an entirely different stance, examining the pragmatic question of whether or not communitarian policies are truly practicable in a constitutional society. In tackling this question, Breslin traces the evolution of American communitarianism. He examines Lincoln's unconstitutional Civil War suspension of habeas corpus and draws on Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments, pegging the Anti-Federalists as communitarians' intellectual forebearers. He also grounds his arguments in the real world, examining the constitutions of Germany and Israel, which offer further insight into the relationship between constitutionalism and communitarianism. At a moment when American politicians and citizenry are struggling to balance competing needs, such as civil rights and homeland security, The Communitarian Constitution is vital reading for anyone interested in the evolving tensions between individual rights and the good of the community.

From Words To Worlds

Author: Beau Breslin
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801896339
Size: 17.44 MB
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In the 225 years since the United States Constitution was first drafted, no single book has addressed the key questions of what constitutions are designed to do, how they are structured, and why they matter. In From Words to Worlds, constitutional scholar Beau Breslin corrects this glaring oversight, singling out the essential functions that a modern, written constitution must incorporate in order to serve as a nation’s fundamental law. Breslin lays out and explains the basic functions of a modern constitution—including creating a new citizenry, structuring the institutions of government, regulating conflict between layers and branches of government, and limiting the power of the sovereign. He also discusses the theoretical concepts behind the fundamentals of written constitutions and examines in depth some of the most important constitutional charters from around the world. In assaying how states put structural ideas into practice, Breslin asks probing questions about why—and if—constitutions matter. Solidly argued and engagingly written, this comparative study in constitutional thought demonstrates clearly the key components that a state’s foundational document must address. Breslin draws a critically important distinction between constitutional texts and constitutional practice. -- Robert L. Tsai

The Communitarian Moment

Author: Christopher Clark
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 9781558494169
Size: 56.86 MB
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It used to be virtually unquestioned that history belonged to the successful. Individuals and movements deemed "failures" were usually disregarded or entirely forgotten. Communitarians of the 1840s set forth a variety of radical critiques of contemporary American society, based both on their own experiences and on their visions of a better world. Their attempts to realize these visions met with strong opposition and practical obstacles. Even as they began to retreat, they were cast by their opponents as insignificant or as fanatics, and those views have influenced most subsequent historical accounts of them. This book joins other recent studies that have sought to reevaluate the efforts of communitarians on their own terms, to locate them in their social and political contexts, and to understand the dilemmas that they faced. The Northampton Association provides an ideal opportunity for a study of this kind. It is easily the most obscure of the main New England utopian communities of the 1840s, so its story remains unfamiliar even to many specialist scholars. In his book, Clark aims not to celebrate the men and women of the Northampton community, but to understand them better, to trace how their vision was formed, and how it came to fade again into something less radical, less ambitious, and more forgettable.

The Communitarian Reader

Author: Amitai Etzioni
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742542198
Size: 44.16 MB
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The Communitarian Reader: Beyond the Essentials brings together essays by prominent social thinkers reflecting on issues ranging from moral obligations to civil liberties after 9/11. The result is a book both practical and theoretical, and an essential guide for all interested in further exploring this important social movement.

The Owl And The Rooster

Author: Alan Brudner
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108190774
Size: 68.87 MB
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Since 1945, there have been two waves of Anglo-American writing on Hegel's political thought. The first defended it against works portraying Hegel as an apologist of Prussian reaction and a theorist of totalitarian nationalism. The second presented Hegel as a civic humanist critic of liberalism in the tradition of Rousseau. The first suppressed elements of Hegel's thought that challenge liberalism's individualistic premises; the second downplayed Hegel's theism. This book recovers what was lost in each wave. It restores aspects of Hegel's political thought unsettling to liberal beliefs, yet that lead to a state more liberal than Locke's and Kant's, which retain authoritarian elements. It also scrutinizes Hegel's claim to have justified theism to rational insight, hence to have made it conformable to Enlightenment standards of admissible public discourse. And it seeks to show how, for Hegel, the wholeness unique to divinity is realizable among humans without concession or compromise and what role philosophy must play in its final achievement. Lastly, we are shown what form Hegel's philosophy can take in a world not yet prepared for his science. Here is Hegel's political thought undistorted.

Constitutional Politics In Canada After The Charter

Author: Patrick James
Publisher: UBC Press
ISBN: 0774859210
Size: 77.90 MB
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Since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was introduced, Canada has experienced more than twenty-five years of constitutional politics and countless debates about the future of Canada. There has, however, been no systematic attempt to identify general theories about Canada's constitutional evolution. Patrick James corrects this oversight. By adding clarity to familiar debates, this succinct assessment of major writings on constitutional politics sharpens our vision of the past � and the future � of the Canadian federation.

Communitarianism In Law And Society

Author: Paul van Seters
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742522718
Size: 33.59 MB
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In this new collection of essays, Paul van Seters brings together an international group of scholars from diverse academic backgrounds to reflect upon the remarkable rise of communitarianism in contemporary studies of law and society. These essays critically assess the communitarian perspective in order to gain a more systematic insight into its distinctive constraints and the special opportunities it provides.

The Counterinsurgent S Constitution

Author: Ganesh Sitaraman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199986908
Size: 14.13 MB
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Since the "surge" in Iraq in 2006, counterinsurgency effectively became America's dominant approach for fighting wars. Yet many of the major controversies and debates surrounding counterinsurgency have turned not on military questions but on legal ones: Who can the military attack with drones? Is the occupation of Iraq legitimate? What tradeoffs should the military make between self-protection and civilian casualties? What is the right framework for negotiating with the Taliban? How can we build the rule of law in Afghanistan? The Counterinsurgent's Constitution tackles this wide range of legal issues from the vantage point of counterinsurgency strategy. Ganesh Sitaraman explains why law matters in counterinsurgency: how it operates on the ground and how law and counterinsurgency strategy can be better integrated. Counterinsurgency, Sitaraman notes, focuses on winning over the population, providing essential services, building political and legal institutions, and fostering economic development. So, unlike in conventional war, where law places humanitarian restraints on combat, law and counterinsurgency are well aligned and reinforce one another. Indeed, following the law and building the rule of law is not just the right thing to do, it is strategically beneficial. Moreover, reconciliation with enemies can both help to end the conflict and preserve the possibility of justice for war crimes. Following the rule of law is an important element of success. The first book on law and counterinsurgency strategy, The Counterinsurgent's Constitution seamlessly integrates law and military strategy to illuminate some of the most pressing issues in warfare and the transition from war to peace. Its lessons also apply to conflicts in Libya and other hot-spots in the Middle East.

Constitutional Interpretation In Singapore

Author: Jaclyn L Neo
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317428099
Size: 33.92 MB
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At the heart of constitutional interpretation is the struggle between, on the one hand, fidelity to founding meanings, and, on the other hand, creative interpretation to suit the context and needs of an evolving society. This book considers the recent growth of constitutional cases in Singapore in the last ten years. It examines the underpinnings of Singapore’s constitutional system, explores how Singapore courts have dealt with issues related to rights and power, and sets developments in Singapore in the wider context of new thinking and constitutional developments worldwide. It argues that Singapore is witnessing a shift in legal and political culture as both judges and citizens display an increasing willingness to engage with constitutional ideas and norms.