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Populism entails a unique claim for recognition, which sets it at odds with the democratic ideal of respect for the equal standing of every citizen. This claim arises from a totalizing framing of political conflict, according to which one can and should understand one uniform group in society as the worst-off group for all political purposes. The populist claim for recognition is an exclusionary claim: We are something that you are not, “the people.” In contrast, this chapter argues that in order to show equal respect for everyone, as well as solidaristic concern for diverse marginalized groups, it is imperative to focus on particular struggles for recognition and discuss who actually suffers the greatest injustice in each case separately. The chapter goes on to contrast the populist claim for recognition and its illiberalism with the kind of respect, which Joel Feinberg argues is expressed in and through “the activity of claim-making” characteristic of a society with rights. Adopting a participant attitude and seeing rights claims as an intersubjective activity, we can better appreciate how rights contribute to democratic respect.
The question of what kind of recognition populism supplies to the people connects to the question of how populists understand and practice “democracy.” This chapter disputes the widespread assumption that populism is committed to a procedural conception of democracy, which rejects all substantive standards and constraints on popular decision-making. It argues that populism cannot be regarded as essentially democratic, while it is only against liberal constitutionalism. Indeed, from the perspective of democratic respect, the fault with populism is not that its understanding of democracy lacks substantive constraints on popular decision-making, but that it fails to appreciate the procedural value of democracy. The populist understanding of democracy fails to appreciate the importance of “procedural respect,” while it promotes “outcome respect” and “identification recognition.” However, outcome respect as a form of correspondence between public policy and people’s opinions is incompatible with the circumstance of disagreement, and populist leader-people identification has equally anti-pluralist implications. Finally, populism has a very limited understanding of democratic procedures, focusing on aggregative mechanisms such as referendums and elections, while it excludes a more expansive understanding of democracy, which includes free opinion-formation, activism, and deliberation in civil and political society.
Legal mobilization refers to the use of law to express claims and desires in order to achieve change or protect interests. It can be carried out by individuals or by a collective of people. Importantly, legal mobilization encompasses more than going to court to litigate disputes, an action that may prove ineffective or even irrelevant in some Asian contexts. In addition to litigation, legal mobilization occurs in other ways, even when an individual or group merely articulates a problem to a confidante in terms of rights or other legal concepts. In Asia, this broader concept of legal mobilization is especially apropos, since so much “legal” activity—broadly construed—takes place far from the justice institutions the state has established. In this chapter, the readings illustrate the range of tactics used by those who mobilize the law to achieve their goals. They also illustrate both the risks and rewards associated with the invocation of legal rights in Asian societies. As the authors make clear, rights can have paradoxical effects, and can simultaneously empower and disempower or stigmatize those who use them. In some instances, however, the results are hugely beneficial to those who felt hopeless in the absence of legal protection.
We explore whether there is a plausible probabilistic version of the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE), and more generally pursue the question of how probabilistic outcomes affect the application of moral principles. Many think that the DDE helps explain why it is permissible to shunt a trolley onto a sidetrack to which one person is tied (thereby resulting in his death) in order to save the lives of five people tied to the main track, whereas it is impermissible to lead an unsuspecting person onto the main track in order to save the five. But we can ask: Does it make a difference if we have an option to lead a person onto the main track when there is only a small to moderate chance that he will be killed? Here we make a start toward an answer by investigating why it is generally wrong to risk harm to others, taking as a defeasible starting point a pluralistic deontological account of morality. In the process, we explore whether imposing risk is causing harm, how to sort permissible from impermissible risk impositions, and why we should not expect a linear function between degree of risk imposed and seriousness of wrong.
In 2005, voters in Zimbabwe performed their civic duty in the seventh election since 1980. The preceding three years were crucial to understanding the 2005 election. Many sources of violence existed in this intervening time, influenced by the referendum vendetta, the continuing land reform process, and the apparent bitterness engendered by the 2000 and 2002 election outcomes. It was crystal clear that Zanu PF’s first weapon of choice in elections was stick rather than carrot. Zanu PF viewed MDC voters as minors and Western stooges and its own supporters as adults of unquestionable loyalty and obedience. State patronage and state-sponsored violence had always taken centre stage before, during and after elections. The violent May 2005 Operation Murambatsvina was a largely state-sponsored campaign (with support from some businesses) to stifle dissent and independent economic and political activity in the country’s urban areas. The main victims of Murambatsvina were younger and unemployed, whom state security agents saw as potential recruits for social unrest. The extent of Zimbabwe’s poor human rights record was exposed by new information technology and increased reporting. As Zimbabwe prepared for the 31 March 2005 parliamentary election, Zanu PF’s campaign was decidedly violent and anti-Western.
From 2000 to 2008, election overload fatigued voters when the Zimbabwe government balloted citizens in six elections – an average of one election every fourteen months. The July 2013 election was also harmonised, ending the shaky MDC–Zanu PF coalition government. The election was preceded by a generally peaceful adoption of a new constitution on 16 March 2013. The constitution was a milestone achievement but a dead letter, stipulating that all security forces and government institutions, including the state media, must be impartial and that reforms on all freedoms must be implemented. However, as in the past, Zanu PF dragged its feet on the full implementation of critical reforms needed to improve the human rights environment and create conditions for democratic elections. Such pipe dream reforms included: police training; renouncing the use of violence; ensuring that the government fully and impartially enforced domestic laws in bringing all perpetrators of politically motivated violence to justice; freedom from harassment and intimidation; the respect for the rule of law; and full realisation of the rights to freedom of association and assembly, and the promotion of freedom of expression and communication.
The ramifications of election violence in Zimbabwe are huge and ongoing, and the loss of lives in the quest for democratic rights might be regarded as the foremost tragedy of post-colonial Zimbabwe. In this book, Vimbai Chaumba Kwashirai examines the prevalence of electoral violence in Zimbabwe from the early 1980s to the present day. With a range of rich examples, Kwashirai offers a nuanced analysis of the overt and covert forms of violence that have pervaded the country's general elections. While remaining attentive to the specifics of the Zimbabwean political landscape, Kwashirai addresses broader debates in African politics, and shows how insidious violence, ethnic tensions and the weakness of opposition parties serve to undermine democracy across Africa. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, he explores the various ways in which violence can be understood and, crucially, how it might be prevented.
A quick glance through history demonstrates that it has not always been an unbroken chain of human happiness, to put it mildly. Different individuals, groups and peoples have faced persecution for any number of reasons: where they came from, how they looked, their perceived (dis)ability, who or what they believed in, who they loved, how they identified, the family they were born into, or, in some cases, for no reason at all. It is against this backdrop that our current set of human rights has emerged. While this chapter focuses primarily on children’s rights and their relationship with education and educator obligations, it is necessary to understand the history of rights in order to understand why human rights, and particularly children’s rights, are so important to the work we do as educators.
The first half of this chapter investigates the ways in which the concept of biological parenthood is used in philosophy of parenthood but also in non-academic contexts, noting that ‘genetic parent’ is often – but not always – used interchangeably with ‘biological parent’. I raise the question of whether gestation constitutes biological parenthood in the absence of genetic connection, and I consider two possible explanations for discrepancy in the use of the concept of biological parenthood. I highlight ways in which the interplay between this and other concepts of parenthood means that discrepancy in our use of language has significant consequences and give an argument against geneticist understandings of biological parenthood. The second part of the chapter considers the right to be a biological parent and the right to not be a biological parent. The discussion of these rights-claims is illustrated by reference to current legal and philosophical dilemmas: debates over access to reproductive technologies; the dilemma faced by separated couples who disagree over the use of their frozen embryos; and the philosophical questions raised by the possibility of ectogenesis with regards to abortion. Is the right to end a pregnancy the same as the right not to be a parent?
This chapter surveys constitutional design for territorially divided societies, with special application to the Middle East. Federalism, which is a standard part of the toolkit in other parts of the world, has rarely been attempted or sustained in the region. Decentralization holds more promise, and although many of the attempts so far have been ineffective, it would help a good deal. Special autonomy, in which one or more regions of a country enjoy authority over certain subjects, could work for certain areas as well. Another set of tools, categorized as rights, redistribution, and representation, operates at the level of the central government. Whatever arrangements are chosen, there is a need for institutional guarantors of the constitutional bargain over territory: courts and international actors can play this role. The chapter concludes that mechanisms providing voice are superior to those facilitating exit, and that a combination of representation and decentralization may be sufficient in many cases.
In book I of De re publica Cicero famously defined the res publica as res populi, the business or the interest of the people, and then went on to flesh out what we should understand to constitute a people: ‘a collection of a great number of human beings, joined in partnership through agreement or unanimity of law or justice or right (iuris consensu) and through sharing in advantage (utilitatis communione)’. ‘Sharing in advantage’ seems clear enough. But my disjunctive rendering of iuris consensu, with its repeated ‘or’ and unconvincing ‘of’, is intended to give an indication of the difficulty translators and other interpreters have had in grasping what Cicero meant by the expression. This chapter offers a fresh attempt at the problem.
In this chapter, a clear outline is presented for analyzing confusing or contentious rights issues in business dealings. The case of perilous shipbreaking practices is used to invite intuitions about the minimal rights and entitlements that are owed to workers. Positive rights, where actions must be taken, are distinguished from negative ones, where a firm may not interfere with preexisting rights. Human rights are further contrasted to privileges, which come about through a legal framework. Critically, privileges are liable to revocation at any time by legislation, whereas human rights exist outside the legal sphere. Actions by oil firms in the Niger Delta are discussed as examples of different attitudes to the rights of indigenous peoples. Whether sweatshops conditions are ever voluntary or acceptable is also examined. It is noted that some religious views emphasize the common good rather than individual welfare, and rights claims often reflect a Western perspective where personal choice is paramount. Subsequently, the question is asked whether nonhumans or the environment might be rights-holders. The concluding case assesses the notion of privacy and whether it is a human right or simply a legal construct in the internet age.
Prior research using the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) has established that political ideology is associated with self-reported reliance on specific moral foundations in moral judgments of acts. MFQ items do not specify the agents involved in the acts, however. By specifying agents in MFQ items we revealed blatant political double standards. Conservatives thought that the same moral foundation was more relevant if victims were agents that they like (i.e., corporations and other conservatives) but less relevant when the same agents were perpetrators. Liberals showed the same pattern for agents that they like (i.e., news media and other liberals). A UK sample showed much weaker political double standards with respect to corporations and news media, consistent with feelings about corporations and news media being much less politicized in the UK than in the US. We discuss the implications for moral foundations theory.
This updated introduction to business ethics offers a clear and accessible framework for understanding the important and complex ethical issues facing business in the contemporary world. Kevin Gibson explains ethical concepts in plain language, showing how terms such as responsibility, autonomy, justice, equality, rights, and beneficence are central to the ways in which business is and should be conducted. He provides numerous examples and discusses cases including VW, Wells Fargo, the Boeing 737 Max, and the exploitation of rare earth minerals, and he pays special attention to recent and emerging issues such as the gig economy, internet commerce, racial and gender justice, and concerns about the impact of business on global climate change. His lively and comprehensive book will give readers the tools to identify and understand a range of problematic ethical issues that affect us all.
Amid undulating conceptions of the role and prowess of federalism emerges its central constitutional role: protecting American liberties against unwarranted governmental intrusions. To the extent that federalism is used as a guise for withdrawing fundamental rights to abortion by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, individual rights are sacrificed in contravention of constitutional structural norms.
The Rights of Nature movement has recently achieved significant successes in using legal personhood as a tool for environmental protection. Perhaps most famously, the Whanganui River in Aotearoa New Zealand was accorded legal personhood in 2017. These kinds of development have attracted plenty of scholarly interest, but few have scrutinized a foundational underlying question: Can natural areas, such as rivers, or other non-sentient natural entities actually be legal persons?
The case of the Whanganui River is an example of the direct legal personhood model: it purports to grant legal rights to the river directly. Some other jurisdictions have set up legal persons to administer rivers, without declaring the rivers themselves to be legal persons: the indirect legal personhood model. This article offers legal-philosophical arguments for why legal personhood cannot be attributed to rivers directly.
Normally, legal persons can hold claim-rights and be legally wronged. Some legal persons, such as human adults, can also be held legally responsible and exercise legal competences by entering into contracts. Natural entities cannot do any of these things. Hence, they cannot be legal persons directly; rather, their putative direct legal personhood will collapse into indirect legal personhood. Hence, treating natural entities as direct legal persons amounts only to a legal fiction. Such fictions may be justified for symbolic reasons. However, if environmental protection requires setting up a legal person to protect a natural entity, such protection in most cases can be realized without claiming that the natural entity itself would have become a legal person.
One health suggests that human and animal health are comparable, but in practice, the concept aligns with the principles of public health ethics. One health ethics, as such, appears to eschew connotations of equality for the natural world. A theory of agency revises that anthropocentric assumption. This article begins with a critique of environmental dualism: the idea that human culture and nature are separate social realms, thus justifying public health as a (unifying) purpose. In response, this article argues that, first, a neuroethics of one health might equally regard humans and (some) animals, which have comparable mental states, as rational agents. Second, rational agency should ground our moral connections to nature in terms of the egalitarian interests we have (as coinhabitants) in the health of the planet. While this article makes a moderate case for interspecific rights (as the first argument asserts), neuroscience is unlikely for now to change how most public institutions regard nonhuman animals in practice. However, the second argument asserts that rational agency is also grounds for philosophical environmentalism. One health ethics, therefore, is a theory of equality and connects culture to nature, and, as such, is a separate, but coextensive approach to that of public health.
This essay demonstrates the relationship between rights, natural law, and civic friendship by showing how the latter, the aim of law according to classic natural law theory, cultivates a culture of care for the other for one’s own sake, which is the basis of rights protections. It considers these connections in the teachings of key contributors to the classic natural law tradition, Aristotle and Aquinas, and engages their ideas with how rights are understood in modern liberal theory. The focus on the good regime of civic friendship responds to some contemporary concerns over the abstractness of human rights. While rights protections exist because the virtue of human beings cannot be depended upon, they still depend upon a standard of civic friendship that habituates citizens into regarding others as having absolute worth which finds its experiential origins in friendship.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed as a ‘common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations’ and rests on the claim that persons are ‘endowed with reason and conscience’. The drafters were thus aligned with the claims of the natural law tradition that there are timeless principles of morality – true for all people in all places – and that these principles serve as a guide for lawmakers and a standard to evaluate positive law. Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain argued that the drafters did not need to agree on the philosophical or metaphysical foundations of morality in order to agree on formulations of practical principles in the language of universal rights. This key insight helped to overcome obstacles to the UDHR and to guide key drafters including Charles Malik. Maritain’s account of natural law in The Rights of Man and Natural Law highlights the notion of jus gentium: commonly agreed principles that are intermediate between the first principles of natural law and positive law. The UDHR can be understood as a successful attempt to formulate jus gentium principles in the aftermath of a war that had seen them disregarded and violated.
For Pufendorf, pacts are the means by which humanity creates the institutions that separate them from the state of nature, in keeping with the natural law command to cultivate society. By pacting people impose new obligations on themselves in addition to those that exist by the law of nature, creating strict rights and duties that enable peace and social cooperation. Analyzing explicit, tacit and implicit pacts Pufendorf considers what counts as signs expressing intention. Language is the original social institution that is logically prior to the agreements about other adventitious states. The language pact curtails the natural liberty to use the faculty of speech as one pleases and gives others the right to require that signs are used in accordance with the communicative duty. There is an analogy with the creation of property, which, similarly, is not a natural quality of things but a moral entity imposed by to overcome conflicting claims upon a world that is naturally common. The last section of the chapter deals with foundations of the price or value of things, the introduction of money, and the interpretation of pacts.