Democracy, Identity, and European Public Spheres

A contribution to European Public Spheres: Politics Is Back, ed. Thomas Risse, Cambridge UP 2004: The empirical findings of this volume give evidence of Europeanisation in the form of political contestation about matters European. What is the significance for democracy and for the future European Union, of increased politicization in the sense of contestation in various public spheres among political parties about the European polity and regimes – including the territory and competences of the EU.  I suggest that there is a third option, in addition to either unfortunate corrosion and fragmentation of the EU or “normalization” of policy contestation, namely permanent salient contestation about constitutional matters – of which the euro crisis may be only one. Download

Rawls’ Social Primary Goods

in The Cambridge Rawls Lexicon. J. Mandle & D. Reidy. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 643-647.
Rawls’ theory of justice concerns the scope of required equalities and permitted inequalities engendered by the basic social structure of a society. this subject requires an index of benefits and burdens that allows publicly accessible interpersonal comparisons of citizens’ well-being, in the relevant sense, among representative members of various social groups. Rawls’ answer is to focus on how the basic structure of society distributes Social primary goods. The entry discusses this account. [SSRN]

Susan Moller Okin

in Encyclopedia of Political Thought, eds. M. Gibbons, D. Coole & E. Ellis, Wiley-Blackwell 2014.
Susan Moller Okin, an egalitarian feminist liberal, reconstructed the history of political thought to correct for the absence, exclusion or distortion of women, gendered culture and reproduction. She developed the social contract tradition to secure family and gender central place, highlighted the plight of minority women in multicultural societies, and contributed to women-centred development policies… [SSRN]

Global Citizenship in an interconnected world

“Global Citizenship”. in Global Citizen – Challenges and Responsibility in an Interconnected World. Ed. A. B. Sterri. Rotterdam, Sense 71-82.

Our actions and practices increasingly mutually affect others across territorial borders. Since these processes of globalization affect our opportunities and our possible impact, globalization also affects what we ought to do – as ‘global citizens’.  The chapter explores some implications for our conceptions of citizenship beyond the state. Individuals should be able to exercise some democratic voting rights and some human rights vis-à-vis governance structures above the nation state under our conditions of globalization. After a brief overview including a historical backdrop, section 2 sketches some components of global citizenship, and section 3 considers several objections to this notion. [WEB].

John Rawls’ Theory of Justice as Fairness

in Philosophy of Justice. G. Fløistad. Dordrecht, Springer: 311-328. When do citizens have a moral duty to obey the government and support the institutions of society? This question is central to political philosophy. One of the 20 century’s main response was John Rawls’ theory of justice, “Justice as fairness”, in the book A Theory of Justice, published 1971. The book Justice as Fairness was an improved and shorter presentation of Rawls’ theory, published 2001 with editorial support by Erin Kelly, one of his former students. …This introduction of Rawls falls into eight parts. After a brief biographical introduction, Part 2 presents the allocation principles he advocated. Part 3 presents Rawls’ conception of society and the individual, as an introduction to the rest of the argument presented in part 4 Section 5 takes up his theory of justification, and part 6 points to three areas where the more recent book Justice as Fairness differs somewhat from A Theory of Justice. Section 7 presents some of the criticisms that have been raised, and section 8 points to some lasting contributions of Rawls’ theory. [WEB].

Political Appointments to the Norwegian Supreme Court

— Much Ado About Nothing? in Tidsskrift for Rettsvitenskap: Should recent reports of political appointments of Norwegian Supreme Court judges by Grendstad et al give rise to concern and reform of the process, e.g. toward more explicitly politicized hearings or vetting of nominees? If there are statistically significant correlations, the appropriate response may well be to explore possible mechanisms – different from those in full view in the US. But the recent research findings that allege a politicized appointment process can be improved in at least two ways…. More