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Discussion

Access_open Human Rights, and the Destructive Communications and Actions of Differentiated Society

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords communication, one-sided rationality, human rights, bare body and mind, inclusion, action, exclusion
Authors Wil Martens
AbstractAuthor's information

    This contribution raises two questions with regard to Teubner’s view on human rights. First and foremost, it asks how one might conceive of modern society as a threat to human beings. Attention is brought to bear on Teubner’s attempt to describe society as a matter of communication, and more specifically as a set of one-sided communication systems. In this regard, I scrutinise the attempt to describe the threat of society in terms of inclusion/exclusion and criticise the vacuity of the concept of inclusion. Secondly, it questions Teubner’s description of human beings that demand justice and protection by human rights. Are their demands about the bare existence of body and mind? Moreover, are these concerns identical to worries about the destruction of human presuppositions for the self-reproduction of functional social systems, as Teubner suggests? Against Teubner, I contend that human rights are actually about social human beings that ask for justice as acting beings, which claim does not coincide with presuppositions of societal subsystems.


Wil Martens
Wil Martens is Assistant Professor of Organisational Development and Senior Researcher at the Nijmegen School of Management at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Discussion

Access_open The Destruction and Reconstruction of the Tower of Babel

A Comment to Gunther Teubner’s Plea for a ‘Common Law Constitution’

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords global society, constitutionalism, social systems theory, Teubner, law and order
Authors Bart van Klink
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article presents some critical comments concerning the conceptual, normative and institutional foundations of Teubner’s plea for a ‘common law constitution’. My comments question the desirability of the means chosen for attaining this objective as well as their efficacy. In particular, I have difficulties with the ambivalent role that is assigned to man, either as a person or as a human being; with the reduction of social problems to problems of communication; and, finally and most importantly, with the attempt to conceive of law and politics beyond established legal and political institutions, which in my view is doomed to fail. The conclusion offers some tentative suggestions for an alternative approach.


Bart van Klink
Bart van Klink is Professor of Legal Methodology at the Faculty of Law of the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open De halve waarheid van het populisme

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2011
Keywords populism, self-inclusion, vitalism, democracy, Lefort
Authors Bert Roermund
AbstractAuthor's information

    Does populism add value to the political debate by showing that the ideals of Enlightenment are too abstract and rationalist to understand politics in democratic terms? The paper argues two theses, critically engaging Lefort’s work: (i) instead of offering valuable criticism, populism feeds on the very principle that Enlightenment has introduced: a polity rests on self-inclusion with reference to a quasi-transcendent realm; (ii) populism’s appeal to simple emotions feeds on the vitalist (rather than merely institutionalist) pulse in any polity. Both dimensions of politics are inevitable as well as elusive. In particular with regard to the vitalist pulse we have no response to the half-truths of populism, as both national and constitutional patriotism seem on the wrong track.


Bert Roermund
Bert van Roermund has held the Chair in Legal Philosophy at Tilburg University and is currently Professor of (Political) Philosophy at the same University as well as 2010-2011 Visiting Professor at K.U. Leuven.
Article

Access_open Constitutionalism and the Incompleteness of Democracy: An Iterative Relationship

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2010
Keywords constitutionalism, globalization, democracy, modernity, postnational
Authors Neil Walker
AbstractAuthor's information

    The complexity of the relationship between democracy and modern constitutionalism is revealed by treating democracy as an incomplete ideal. This refers both to the empirical incompleteness of democracy as unable to supply its own terms of application – the internal dimension – and to the normative incompleteness of democracy as guide to good government – the external dimension. Constitutionalism is a necessary response to democratic incompleteness – seeking to realize (the internal dimension) and to supplement and qualify democracy (the external dimension). How democratic incompleteness manifests itself, and how constitutionalism responds to incompleteness evolves and alters, revealing the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy as iterative. The paper concentrates on the iteration emerging from the current globalizing wave. The fact that states are no longer the exclusive sites of democratic authority compounds democratic incompleteness and complicates how constitutionalism responds. Nevertheless, the key role of constitutionalism in addressing the double incompleteness of democracy persists under globalization. This continuity reflects how the deep moral order of political modernity, in particular the emphasis on individualism, equality, collective agency and progress, remains constant while its institutional architecture, including the forms of its commitment to democracy, evolves. Constitutionalism, itself both a basic orientation and a set of design principles for that architecture, remains a necessary support for and supplement to democracy. Yet post-national constitutionalism, even more than its state-centred predecessor, remains contingent upon non-democratic considerations, so reinforcing constitutionalism’s normative and sociological vulnerability. This conclusion challenges two opposing understandings of the constitutionalism of the global age – that which indicts global constitutionalism because of its weakened democratic credentials and that which assumes that these weakened democratic credentials pose no problem for post-national constitutionalism, which may instead thrive through a heightened emphasis on non-democratic values.


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

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

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2010
Keywords co-originality, deliberative democracy, Habermas, Lefort, modernity
Authors Stefan Rummens
AbstractAuthor's information

    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.
Article

Access_open Is de vrijheid van godsdienst in de moderne multiculturele samenleving nog een hanteerbaar recht?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2010
Keywords freedom of religion, human rights, human dignity, traditional religion, unequal treatment
Authors Koo van der Wal
AbstractAuthor's information

    There are two fundamental problems with regard to the freedom of religion. The first concerns the content and scope of the right; the second, a possible unequal treatment between population groups. The first problem can only be dealt with by a preliminary analysis of the religious phenomenon, which precedes a legal definition. It turns out that there is a range of different types of religion, with on the one hand traditional forms of religion which are narrowly interwoven with the culture in question (all kinds of ‘cultural’ practices possessing a religious dimension), and on the other forms of religion which loosen to a considerable extent the ties between culture and religion. Evidently, the former types of religion cause problems in modern society. An additional problem is that freedom of religion as a modern basic right rests on a view of human being – including the idea of the inherent dignity and autonomy of the human person – which is at odds with the symbolic universe of traditional religion. The conclusion of the article is that in the modern pluralist society freedom of religion is on its way to becoming, or already has become, an unmanageable right. So the problems arising around this right (including that of unequal treatment) can only be solved in a pragmatic, not really satisfactory way. In that context, modern humanitarian standards should be observed in the implementation of the right of freedom of religion because fundamental human rights are connected with a specific concept of humanity.


Koo van der Wal
Koo van der Wal is emeritus professor of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach: In Need of a Moral Epistemology?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2009
Keywords Martha Nussbaum, Capabilities Approach, moral epistemology, objectivity, residues of justice, Bernard Williams, political moralism
Authors Mr. Iris van Domselaar
AbstractAuthor's information

    Although Nussbaum’s “Capabilities Approach” (CA) clearly expresses a commitment to objectivity, this article argues that this commitment is rather ambiguous due to the conception of public reason it endorses. In particular, the CA cannot account for an objective justification of public reason, given certain characteristics of public reason. As a result, the CA jeopardizes the substantive aim it has set itself: to provide an objective justification for public choices regarding human capabilities and their specifications.


Mr. Iris van Domselaar
Iris van Domselaar is a Ph.D-student and lecturer at the Department of General Jurisprudence, Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam. The subject of her thesis is “Residues of Justice and Tragic Legal Choice in a Liberal Rule of Law”.
Article

Access_open A <i>Decisionist</i> Approach to Democratic Political Order

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2008
Keywords claim, leasing, contract, E-business, interest, binding, dictum, elektronisch geld, identiteit
Authors M. Terpstra

M. Terpstra
Article

Access_open 'The True Spirit of Toleration': Edmund Burke on Establishment and Tolerance

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2008
Keywords contract, leasing, interest, model, verzoekschrift, concern, E-business, service, settlement, bear
Authors M. Blois

M. Blois
Article

Access_open Sharia - A Flexible Notion

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2006
Keywords claim, model, bank, bear, E-business, handelsnaam, interest, internet, kind, rechtsstaat
Authors M. Berger

M. Berger
Article

Access_open Separation, Integration and Citizenship, reply to Glenn

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2006
Keywords claim, identiteit, model, subsidie, binding, democratie, interest, joint venture, leasing
Authors R. Pinxten

R. Pinxten
Article

Access_open Kant on 'Selbständigkeit'

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2002
Keywords model, character, E-business, claim, hinder, leasing, making, binding, concern, dictum
Authors C. Dierksmeier

C. Dierksmeier
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