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Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy x
Artikel

Access_open Liberal Democracy and the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden national identity, historical narratives, universal values, equal citizenship
Auteurs Tamar de Waal
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    Increasingly often, it is stated that the universal values underpinning Western liberal democracies are a product of a ‘Judeo-Christian’ tradition. This article explores the legitimacy of this claim from the perspective of liberal-democratic theory. It argues that state-endorsed claims about the historical roots of liberal-democratic values are problematic (1) if they are promoted as though they are above democratic scrutiny and (2) if they insinuate that citizens who belong to a particular (majority) culture remain the ‘cultural owners’ of the core values underpinning the state. More pragmatically, the paper suggests that the claim carries the risk of failing to facilitate all citizens becoming or remaining committed to nurturing fundamental rights and a shared society based on norms of democratic equality.


Tamar de Waal
Tamar de Waal is assistant professor of legal philosophy at the Amsterdam Law School of the University of Amsterdam.
Artikel

Access_open Idealized versus Real-Life Reciprocity: How to Strike the Balance?

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden norm of reciprocity, moral obligation, gift exchange, hospitality, intergenerational relations
Auteurs Mrs. Aafke Elisabeth Komter PhD
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    Rawls’s ’idealized’ notion of reciprocity is compared with the ’real-life’ concept of reciprocity as it has been developed in social scientific theory. The two perspectives appear to differ significantly as concerns dimensions related to equality, human motivation, the temporal aspects of reciprocity, and the supposed mental origin of reciprocity. Whereas norms of obligation and feelings of moral indebtedness are constitutive for reciprocity in real-life encounters, equality, freedom and rationality are the basis for reciprocity in the hypothetical world of the ’conjectural account’. Rather than being fundamentally incompatible, the idealized and the real-life perspectives on reciprocity seem to apply to different spheres of social life, the first requiring greater formality and universality than the second, which allows for more variation and particularities.


Mrs. Aafke Elisabeth Komter PhD
Aafke Komter is Emeritus Professor of Social Sciences and a Visiting Researcher at the Department of Sociology of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. She has published many articles on (family) solidarity, reciprocity and the social and cultural meaning of the exchange of gifts.
Artikel

Access_open The Normative Foundation of Legal Orders: A Balance Between Reciprocity and Mutuality

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden reciprocity, mutuality, social morality of duties, legal morality of rights, intergenerational justice
Auteurs Dorien Pessers PhD
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    Reciprocity seems to figure as a self-evident normative foundation of legal orders. Yet a clear understanding of the often opaque role that reciprocity plays in this regard demands drawing a conceptual distinction. This article views reciprocity as a social morality of duties, in opposition to mutuality, which concerns a legal morality of rights. In everyday life these two broad categories of human interaction interfere in a dynamic way. They need to be brought into an appropriate balance in legal orders, for the sake of justice. The practical relevance of this conceptual distinction is clarified by the debate about justice between present and future generations. I argue that this debate should be viewed as a debate about the terms of reciprocity rather than relations of mutuality. Acknowledging the deeply reciprocal nature of the relations between past, present and future generations would lead to a more convincing moral theory about intergenerational justice.


Dorien Pessers PhD
Dorien Pessers is Professor of the Legal and Theoretical Foundations of the Private Sphere at the VU University and at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses primarily on the theoretical foundations of the public and private spheres.
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