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Discussie

Access_open ‘We Are Also Here.’ Whose Revolution Will Democracy Be?

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2012
Trefwoorden democracy, public sphere, civil society, Arab Spring, feminism
Auteurs Judith Vega
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Steven Winter’s argument is premised on a sharp contrast of individualist and social revolutions. I elaborate my doubts about his argument on three accounts, involving feminist perspectives at various points. First, I take issue with Winter’s portrayal of liberal theory, redirecting the focus of his concern to economic libertarianism rather than liberalism, and arguing a more hospitable attitude to the Kantian pith in the theory of democracy. Secondly, I discuss his conceptualization of democracy, adding the conceptual distinction of civil society and public sphere. Thirdly, I question his normative notion of socially situated selves as having an intrinsic relation to social freedom. I moreover consult cultural history on the gendered symbolics of market and democracy to further problematize Winter’s take on either’s meaning for social freedom.


Judith Vega
Judith Vega is Lecturer in Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

    In this reply, Steven L. Winter adresses his critics.


Steven L. Winter

Irina Baraliuc
Irina Baraliuc is a PhD researcher at the Research Group Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Sari Depreeuw
Sari Depreeuw is a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Group Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and an attorney-at-law at the Brussels bar.

Serge Gutwirth
Serge Gutwirth is Professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and director of the Research Group Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS).
Discussie

Access_open Against the ‘Pestilential Gods’

Teubner on Human Rights

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2011
Trefwoorden semiosphera, paranomia, Drittwirkung, matrix argument
Auteurs Pasquale Femia
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Examining the function of human rights in the semiosphere requires a strategy of differentiation: the dissolution of politics into political moments (politics, it is argued, is not a system, but a form of discourse); the distinction between discourse and communication; the concept of systemic paranomic functionings. Paranomia is a situation generated by the pathological closure of discourses, in which knowledge of valid and observed norms obscures power. Fundamental rights are the movement of communication, claims about redistributing powers, directed against paranomic functionings. Rethinking the debate about the third party effect implies that validity and coherence must be differentiated for the development of the ‘matrix argument’.


Pasquale Femia
Pasquale Femia is Professor of Private Law at the Faculty of Political Studies of the University of Naples II, Italy.
Discussie

Access_open Plugging the Legitimacy Gap? The Ubiquity of Human Rights and the Rhetoric of Global Constitutionalism

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden global constitutionalism, legitimacy, human rights, Neil Walker, post-state democracy
Auteurs Morag Goodwin
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper approaches Walker’s work from the perspective of the ubiquity of human rights language within the rhetoric of global constitutionalism. Building on Walker’s description of the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy, what I wish to suggest is that the spread of human rights discourse is intimately connected with attempts to apply constitutional discourse beyond the state. By highlighting the way in which human rights have become place-takers for political legitimacy in discussions of international constitutionalism, the paper is intended to challenge Walker to state his own position more forcefully and to develop further his insight concerning the irresolvable tension in the iterative relationship between constitutionalism and democracy.


Morag Goodwin
Morag Goodwin is Assistant Professor of Law and Development at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society at Tilburg Law School, the Netherlands.
Discussie

Access_open The Co-originality of Law and Democracy in the Moral Horizon of Modernity

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden co-originality, deliberative democracy, Habermas, Lefort, modernity
Auteurs Stefan Rummens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper argues that Neil Walker’s analysis of the complementary relationship between democracy and constitutionalism remains one-sided. It focuses only on the incompleteness of democracy and the democracy-realizing function of constitutionalism rather than also taking into account the reverse complementary and constitution-realizing function of democracy. In this paper, I defend a fuller account that takes into account this mutual complementarity between democracy and constitutionalism. Such an alternative approach is consequential for Walker’s argument in two respects. In terms of the general analysis of the relationship between democracy and constitutionalism, my adjusted approach leads to a defence of the Habermasian thesis of the co-originality of constitutionalism and democracy which is too quickly dismissed by Walker himself. A fuller appreciation of this co-originality suggests that the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy is perhaps, after all, more singularly complementary (as opposed to being both complementary and oppositional) than Walker recognizes. In terms of the more specific analysis of the impact of globalization, this adjusted approach tilts the argument in favour of the critics of current practices of postnational constitutionalism. Without complementary postnational democratic structures, this constitutionalism remains problematic and potentially oppressive.


Stefan Rummens
Stefan Rummens is Assistant Professor of Political Theory at the Institute for Management Research of the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Discussie

Access_open The Globalizing Turn in the Relationship Between Constitutionalism and Democracy

Some Reiterations from the Perspective of Constitutional Law

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden constitutional law, constitutionalism, historic constitutions, revolutionary constitutions, pouvoir constituant (irrelevance of)
Auteurs Leonard F.M. Besselink
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This essay complements Walker’s essay with some historical and constitutional observations. It submits that Walker’s analysis is based to a large extent on reasoning derived from a particular continental European constitutional tradition. This creates certain problems of its own, that do not arise in a different constitutional tradition. This is not to say, however, that this invalidates his conclusions, but rather underpins them in an alternative manner.


Leonard F.M. Besselink
Leonard Besselink is Professor of European Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law of the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Discussie

Access_open Constitutionalism and the Incompleteness of Democracy

A Reply to Four Critics

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden constitutionalism, globalization, democracy, modernity, postnational
Auteurs Neil Walker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This reply to critics reinforces and further develops a number of conclusions of the original paper. First, it answers the charge that it is biased in its discussion of the relative standing of constitutionalism and democracy today, tending to take the authority of the former for granted and concentrating its critical attention unduly on the incompleteness of democracy, by arguing that contemporary constitutionalism is deeply dependent upon democracy. Secondly, it reiterates and extends the claim of the original paper that the idea and practice of democracy is unable to supply its own resources in the development of just forms of political organization. Thirdly, it defends its key understanding of the overall relationship between democracy and constitutionalism as a ‘double relationship’, involving both mutual support and mutual tension. A fourth and last point is concerned to demonstrate how the deeper philosophical concerns raised by the author about the shifting relationship between democracy and constitutionalism and the conceptual reframing they prompt are important not just as an explanatory and evaluative window on an evolving configuration of political relations but also as an expression of that evolution, and to indicate how this new conceptual frame might condition how we approach the question of a democracy-sensitive institutional architecture for the global age.


Neil Walker
Neil Walker is Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
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