Contemporary societies are riddled with moral disputes caused by conflicts between value claims competing for the regulation of matters of public concern. This familiar state of affairs is relevant for one of the most important debates within liberal political thought: should institutions seek to realize justice or peace? Justice-driven philosophers characterize the normative conditions for the resolution of value conflicts through the establishment of a moral consensus on an order of priority between competing value claims. Peace-driven philosophers have concentrated, perhaps (...) more modestly, on the characterization of the ways in which competing value claims should be balanced, with a view to establishing a _modus vivendi _aimed at containing the conflict. _Interactive Justice _addresses an important question related to this debate: on what terms should the parties interact _during_ their conflict for their interaction to be morally acceptable to them? Although largely unexplored by political philosophers, this is a main area of concern in conflict management. Building on a proceduralist interpretation of "relational" concerns of justice, the author develops a liberal normative theory of interactive justice for the management of value conflict in politics grounded in the fundamental values of fair hearing and procedural equality. This book innovatively builds a bridge between works in political philosophy and peace studies to propose a fresh lens through which to view the normative responses liberal institutions ought to give to value conflict in politics, and moves beyond the apparent dichotomy between pursuing end-state justice through conflict resolution or peace through conflict containment. (shrink)
The corruption of public officials and institutions is generally regarded as wrong. But in what exactly does this form of corruption consist and what kind of wrong does it imply? This article aims to take stock of the current philosophical discussion of the different senses in which political corruption is wrong in a general sense, beyond the specific negative legal, economic, and social costs it may happen to have in specific circumstances. Political corruption is usually presented as a pathology of (...) the public order. Therefore, the senses in which political corruption has been presented as wrong have varied depending on the normative theory of the public order that is presupposed. In this article, we offer a critical presentation of two major interpretations of the wrongfulness of political corruption that draw respectively on a neo-republican and a liberal account of the public order. Finally, we show how the analytical distinction between these approaches has important normative implications for the identification of relevant cases of political corruption. (shrink)
Is the corrupt behaviour of public officials a politically relevant kind of wrong only when it causes the malfunctioning of institutions? We challenge recent institutionalist approaches to political corruption by showing a sense in which the individual corrupt behaviour of certain public officials is wrong not only as a breach of personal morality but in inherently politically salient terms. To show this sense, we focus on a specific instance of individual corrupt behaviour on the part of public officials entrusted with (...) the power to implement public rules in a liberal democracy. Although not necessarily unlawful, their behaviour is politically wrong qua corrupt when it contradicts surreptitiously the requirement of public justification that undergirds the public order. Then, we distinguish this form of corruption as surreptitious action from such unlawful but publicly justifiable kinds of political misbehaviour as civil disobedience. (shrink)
Whistleblowing” has entered the scholarly and the public debate as a way of describing the exposure by the member of an organization of episodes of corruption, fraud, or general abuses of power within the organization. We offer a critical survey of the main normative theories of whistleblowing in the current debate in political philosophy, with the illustrative aid of one of the epitomic figures of a whistleblower of our time: Edward Snowden. After conceptually separating whistleblowing from other forms of wrongdoing (...) disclosures, we introduce and discuss two families of normative views of this practice: the “Extrema Ratio” and the “Deontic” views. We show how the two views can be usefully considered in tandem to offer an all-round assessment of the moral justification of whistleblowing either as an extraordinary individual conscientious act of indictment or as an ordinary dutiful organizational practice of answerability that enables the capacity of self-correction of an organization. (shrink)
The corruption of public officials and institutions is generally regarded as wrong. But in what exactly does this form of corruption consist and what kind of wrong does it imply? Recent proponents of the “institutionalist approach” to political corruption have concentrated on those occasions when incentive structures distract institutions from their essential purpose and weaken public trust. The corruption of individual public officials has been less relevant to their work, except for when it leads to the erosion of the functioning (...) of institutions. From this perspective, a clear emphasis has been put on the consequences of corruption. In contrast, I argue that political corruption, whether individual or institutional, can be more fundamentally understood as a form of political injustice in which someone has violated the logic of mutual accountability that undergirds all relations of justice in rights-based systems. In this sense, political corruption occurs when public officials use their entrusted power of office for the pursuit of an agenda whose rationale may not be vindicated as coherent with the terms of their mandate. By focusing on the inherent qualities of corrupt political relations, I lay out a novel relational and deontological understanding of the inherent wrongness of political corruption as a form of unaccountable action. (shrink)
Whilst legitimacy is often thought to concern the processes through which coercive decisions are made in society, justice has been standardly viewed as a ‘substantial’ matter concerning the moral justification of the terms of social cooperation. Accordingly, theorization about procedures may seem appropriate for the former but not for the latter. To defend proceduralism as a relevant approach to justice, I distinguish three questions: (1) Who is entitled to exercise coercive power? (2) On what terms should the participants to a (...) scheme of cooperation interact? (3) How should the costs and benefits produced by cooperation be distributed? Legitimacy concerns (1), whereas justice applies to (2) and (3). Although the appropriateness of proceduralism is debatable in relation to (3), it seems well equipped to address the justice-related question in (2). And it does so by focusing on the inherent moral acceptability of the way in which persons are treated by the procedures through which they interact. (shrink)
Should officeholders be held individually responsible for submitting to systemically corrupt institutional practices? We draw a structural analogy between individual action under coercive threat and individual participation in systemic corruption, and we argue that officeholders who submit to corrupt institutional practices are not excused by the existence of a systemic coercive threat. Even when they have good personal reasons to accept the threat, they remain individually morally assessable and, in the circumstances, they are also individually blameworthy for actions performed in (...) their institutional capacity. (shrink)
On a proceduralist account of democracy, collective decisions derive their jus- tification—at least in part—from the qualities of the process through which they have been made. To fulfill its justificatory function, this process should ensure that citizens have an equal right to political participation as a respectful response to their equal status as agents capable of self-legislation. How should democratic participation be understood if it is to offer such a procedural justification for democratic decisions? I suggest that, in order to (...) overcome the structural procedural disadvantages affecting the actual, effective opportunities that citizens who hold nonmainstream views have to exercise their right to political participation, the enhancement of such opportunities requires securing space for contestation. Against this background, I vindicate the (currently underestimated) role of conscientious objection as a form of political participation. (shrink)
This article offers a conceptual framework for discussing the role of envy within processes of transitional justice. Transitional justice importantly includes the transformation of intergroup dynamics of interaction in the aftermath of societal conflicts and upheavals. Such transformation aims to realise “interactive” justice in transitional justice by reshaping belief and value systems, and by moulding emotional responses between the involved parties. A nuanced understanding of the emotions at play in intergroup antagonistic dynamics of interaction is thus essential to transitional justice. (...) Among the many emotions that we could address in such scenarios, we target envy. Envy, in its various forms, features prominently in many societal conflicts and upheavals, and has, therefore, the potential to undermine or, conversely, support just intergroup interactions. However, the ambivalent role of this emotion has been scantly analysed in the philosophical literature on transitional justice. We make a start on filling this lacuna by developing a conceptual framework which is necessary to appreciate how envy and its varieties are epistemically and practically relevant to realising interactive justice in transitional justice processes. (shrink)
Transitional justice has historically emerged from the belief that, when countries or communities have experienced severe internal conflicts and upheavals, one cannot simply “move on”. To prevent the same wrongdoing from occurring again, parties involved need to draw the line between what was accepted in the past and what will be acceptable in the future. This work occurs through a transformation of societal relationships, which primarily aims to reshape belief and value systems and mold emotional responses between involved parties. A (...) nuanced understanding of the emotions at play in intergroup conflicts is thus essential to transitional justice approaches. Our contribution to this understanding is a philosophical study of the potential of such a common but complex emotion as envy to undermine or, in fact, corroborate just intergroup interactions. -/- In the first two sections we introduce the concept of transitional justice as transformation of the relationship dynamics, and explain the role of just interactions between parties involved in transitional justice processes. Then, we review some of the ways in which emotions in general are relevant to transitional justice processes. Finally, we narrow our focus to envy, presenting four examples of intergroup conflicts in which group envy played a central role. We conclude by suggesting that investigating envy and its varieties is epistemically valuable and practically relevant to transitional justice processes. (shrink)
Whistleblowing (WB) is the practice of reporting immoral or illegal behavior by members of a legitimate organization with privileged access to information concerning an alleged wrongdoing within that organization. A common critique of WB draws on its supposed consequence of generating a climate of mutual distrust. This wariness is heightened in the case of external WB, which may lead to weakening public trust in an organization by diminishing its credibility. Accordingly, even the defenders of WB have presented it as an (...) individual conscientious extrema ratio; the justification of WB as a dutiful practice has lost plausibility. Contrary to this view, we present WB as a specific instance of institutional and individual moral duties of public accountability in nonideal conditions. WB is thus justified as a dutiful corrective practice within a general normative theory of institutions because it qualifies the individual and institutional moral demands attached to rule-governed institutional roles. (shrink)
The paper articulates a new understanding of individual responsibility focused on exercises of agency in reason-giving rather than intentional actions or attitudes towards others. Looking at how agents make sense of their actions, we identify a distinctive but underexplored space for assessing individual responsibility within collective actions. As a case in point, we concentrate on reason-giving for one's own involvement in systemic corruption. We characterize systemic corruption in terms of its public ‘unavowability’ and focus on the redescriptions to which corrupt (...) agents typically resort to vindicate their actions. Through a multidimensional approach to reason-giving, we show that the individual rationalisations these redescriptions point to are necessarily less-than-successful since they keep thedifferent categories of reasons involved in making sense of one’s own conduct misaligned. We argue that this involves a kind of tainted reasoning at the interface between epistemic vice and epistemic disadvantage. We then consider such test cases as self-deception, wilful ignorance, and actions on ‘autopilot’ to show that tainted reasoning is constitutive of systemic corruption, not merely caused by it. On this ground, we expound a new view of responsibility centred on reason-giving as the epistemic core which all responsibility assessments track. To demonstrate the interest of this view, we compare it with existing alternatives revolving around the ideas of accountability and attributability. We conclude by showing how our understanding of responsibility can shed new light on the analysis and normative assessment of an agent’s responsible ignorance. (shrink)
Acts of civil disobedience and conscientious objection provide valuable indications of the congruence of political outcomes with citizens’ conceptions of justice and the good. As their primary concern is substantive, their logic seems extraneous to procedural approaches to justice. Accordingly, it has often been argued that these latter condemn citizens to a ‘deaf-and-blind’ acceptance of the outcomes of agreed procedures. A closer analysis of such acts of contestation shall reveal that although, for proceduralism, the outcomes of just procedures cannot be (...) contested as unjust, they may be contested on the ground of values other than justice, such as someone’s religious/ethical allegiances. Proceduralism about justice will be thus shown to be consistent with the commitment to realising certain outcome-oriented values. (shrink)
It is a widely supported claim that liberal democratic institutions should treat citizens with equal respect. I neither dispute nor champion this claim, but investigate how it could be fulfilled. I do this by asking, as a sort of litmus test, how liberal democratic institutions should treat with respect citizens holding minority convictions, and thereby dissenting from a deliberative output. The first step of my argument consists in clarifying the sense in which liberal democracies have a primary concern for the (...) respectful treatment of citizens qua self-legislating persons. Taking the second step, I address critically the common tendency in the literature to concentrate on what I have termed the ex ante legem phase, focusing solely on the structure of institutionalized decision-making processes. I submit, rather, that the principle of equal respect for persons demands more of liberal democratic institutions to enhance citizens' chances to give voice to their consciences and influence, on that ground, the formulation of the rules to which they should conform. Fulfilling this commitment requires democratic theorizing to go beyond the ex ante legem phase and regard forms of ex post legem contestation as an extension of citizens' right to political participation. Against this backdrop, I take the third and last step and argue that a promising way forward consists in the adoption of an ex post legem version of conscientious exemptionism, granting citizens a conditional moral right to request exemptions on the grounds of conscience from certain controversial legal and political provisions. (shrink)
Scholars and international organizations engaged in institutional reconstruction converge in recognizing political corruption as a cause or a consequence of conflicts. Anticorruption is thus generally considered a centrepiece of institutional reconstruction programmes. A common approach to anticorruption within this context aims primarily to counter the negative political, social, and economic effects of political corruption, or implement legal anticorruption standards and punitive measures. We offer a normative critical discussion of this approach, particularly when it is initiated and sustained by external entities. (...) We recast the focus from an outward to an inward perspective on institutional action and failure centred on the institutional interactions between officeholders. In so doing, we offer the normative tools to reconceptualize anticorruption in terms of an institutional ethics of ‘office accountability’ that draws on an institution’s internal resources of self-correction as per the officeholders’ interrelated work. (shrink)
The paper discusses the normative grounds for recognizing a watchdog role to the news media as concerns the dissemination of information about an institutional failure menacing a well-ordered society. This is, for example, the case of the news media’s role in the diffusion of whistleblowers’ disclosures. We argue that many popular justifications for the watchdog role of the news media (as a ‘fourth estate’; a trustee of the people’s right to know; expert communicator) fail to ground that role in some (...) unique feature that makes the news media special as concerns the performance of the role. We offer an alternative argument that shows how the watchdog role of the news media shares a justificatory ground with the role that any member of a well-ordered society has in terms of a general duty of answerability in the face of institutional failures. Although this duty does not bear only on the news media, we concede that in some contingent circumstances the news media might be better positioned to discharge it and, therefore, to initiate corrective actions of institutional failures effectively and conscientiously. However, the establishment of the news media’s responsibility in this sense is an empirical, not a conceptual or a normative matter. (shrink)
For many liberal democrats toleration has become a sort of pet-concept, to which appeal is made in the face of a myriad issues related to the treatment of minorities. Against the inflationary use of toleration, whether understood positively as recognition or negatively as forbearance, I argue that toleration may not provide the conceptual and normative tools to understand and address the claims for accommodation raised by at least one kind of significant minority: democratic dissenting minorities. These are individuals, or aggregates (...) of them, who oppose, on principled grounds, the outcomes of the majoritarian decision-making process. I argue that democratic dissenting minorities' claims are better understood as calls for respect for a person's capacity for self-legislation. I view respect as the cornerstone of justice in a liberal democracy: all norms resulting in a constraint on a person's conduct should be appropriately justified to her. I argue that the reconciliation of democratic dissenting minorities' claims requires an enhancement of the justificatory strategies of democratic decisions by enhancing in turn citizens' rights to political participation. This should be done both during decision making and after a provision is enacted by also securing space for contestation through such forms of illegal protest as civil disobedience and conscientious objection. (shrink)
This article aims to investigate the way in which a political theory of justice should respond to the endorsement of pluralism. After offering reasons in support of the necessity for such a theory to take pluralism seriously, an argument is put forward for its characterization in minimal and procedural terms. However, taking issue with the straightforward relationship of implication identified by a number of scholars between pluralism and procedural justice, this article contends that a direct relation can only be established (...) between pluralism and the need to define a minimal theory of justice, i.e. a theory that assumes as little as possible in terms of values and views of the world. Its procedural formulation is seen, instead, as a consequence of the limited predictive power of theory facing the heterogeneous situations with which it is expected to deal. (shrink)
In this article, we engage critically with the understanding of majority-minority relations in a liberal democracy as relations of toleration. We make two main claims: first, that appeals to toleration are unable to capture the procedural problems concerning the unequal socio-political participation of minorities, and, second, that they do not offer any critical tool to establish what judgements the majority is entitled to consider valid reasons for action with respect to some minority. We suggest supplementing the reference to toleration with (...) a specific interpretation of respect for persons; all persons should be treated equally as self-legislators and as if they were opaque to our judgement as regards their agential abilities, on which their capacity for self-legislation supervenes. Minorities are disrespected in this sense whenever are treated merely as the addressees of the rules constraining the formulation and pursuit of their life-plans, rather than as their co-authors on an equal footing with the majority, and whenever their treatment in politics and society is considered as legitimately influenced by the majority's judgement of their agential abilities, either directly or by indirect inference from the evaluation of the content of their beliefs and practices. (shrink)
“Whistleblowing” has entered the scholarly and the publicdebate as a way of describing the exposure by the memberof an organization of episodes of corruption, fraud, or generalabuses of power within the organization. We offer acritical survey of the main normative theories ofwhistleblowing in the current debate in political philosophy,with the illustrative aid of one of the epitomic figures of awhistleblower of our time: Edward Snowden. After conceptuallyseparating whistleblowing from other forms ofwrongdoing disclosures, we introduce and discuss two familiesof normative views (...) of this practice: the “Extrema Ratio”and the “Deontic” views. We show how the two views canbe usefully considered in tandem to offer an all-roundassessment of the moral justification of whistleblowingeither as an extraordinary individual conscientious act ofindictment or as an ordinary dutiful organizational practiceof answerability that enables the capacity of self-correctionof an organization. (shrink)
Liberal theories of justice typically claim that political institutions should be justifiable to those who live under them – whatever their values. The more such values diverge, the greater the challenge of justifiability. Diversity of this kind becomes especially pronounced when the institutions in question are supra-national. Focusing on the case of the European Union, this paper aims to address a basic question: what kinds of value should inform the justification of political institutions facing a plurality of value systems? One (...) route to an answer is provided by John Rawls, who famously distinguishes between comprehensive and political values, and defends the exclusion of the former from the foundations of a political theory of justice. This paper questions the tenability of the Rawlsian solution, and draws attention to an alternative twofold conceptual distinction: that between minimal and non-minimal and between substantive and procedural values. Minimal values are meant to be as independent as possible of controversial conceptions of the good and views of the world, regardless of whether these are comprehensive or purely political. It will be argued that their endorsement may thus further specify the nature of what should be shared in order to justify political institutions in conditions of pluralism. In order to further refine the account of such basis of justification, two variants of minimalism will be presented according to whether they invest substantive or procedural values. Substantive values qualify the property of an outcome; procedural values qualify the property of a procedure. The latter part of the paper consists of a ‘face-off’ between minimal proceduralism and minimal substantivism, considering reasons in favour of the adoption of each. The result, we suggest, is a helpful reorientation of the political dimension of the value debates to which the multiplicity of values amid contemporary European horizons give rise. (shrink)
This paper aims to outline the essential structural traits that a procedural theory of justice for the management of conflicts about values should display in order to combine open-endedness and cogency. To this purpose, it offers an investigation into the characteristics of procedural justice through a critical assessment of John Rawls‟s taxonomy of proceduralism, in terms of perfect, imperfect and pure procedural justice. Given the concessions the two former kinds of proceduralism make to substantive theories, and the potentially misleading characterisation (...) Rawls gave of pure procedural theories of justice, it reformulates the latter category in terms of impure proceduralism. In this case, the theory is required not to pose substantive constraints on the qualities of just outcomes, but is, rather, expected to provide a trans-contextually applicable account of the qualities of just procedures on the basis of an independent criterion of justice. (shrink)
In this response essay, Ceva and Ferretti reply to their critics and clarify some key aspects of their book. Specifically, the discussion starts by elaborating on the notion of an ethics of office accountability, explaining that the specification of institutional norms of officeholders behaviour is the result of practices of officeholders' interaction (including democratic practices) and reflection. The second theme is the responsibility for political corruption. The authors emphasise the importance of focussing not only on retrospective responsibility, for the sake (...) of punishing corrupt behaviour, but especially on accountability as a form of self-reflection by the officeholders on the weaknesses of their institutional work together. This exercise is preliminary to their assuming forward-looking responsibilities for anti-corruption. The third and final part discusses political corruption as a specifically interactive wrong. For the authors, the magnitude and moral salience of the wrong of corruption, as well as the different wrongs implicated both from an interactive perspective and in consideration of the harm caused to third parties, must be assessed in light of the context and the moral standing of the public institution in question. In this sense, political corruption is a pro tanto wrong. (shrink)
This article contributes to the debate concerning the identification of politically relevant cases of corruption in a democracy by sketching the basic traits of an original liberal theory of institutional corruption. We define this form of corruption as a deviation with respect to the role entrusted to people occupying certain institutional positions, which are crucial for the implementation of public rules, for private gain. In order to illustrate the damages that corrupt behaviour makes to liberal democratic institutions, we discuss the (...) case of health care professionals’ abuse of their right to conscientious objection to abortion services. We show that the conscience clause can be instrumentally abused to sabotage democratically established public rules and thus exert undue private influence on their implementation. In this sense, from a liberal democratic perspective, institutional corruption is problematic because it is disruptive of such fundamental liberal ideals as the impartiality of public institutions and citizens’ political equality. (shrink)
The corruption of public officials and institutions is one of the most obvious problems that affects developed and developing countries alike. Because this view is largely shared, most current studies of this phenomenon—‘political corruption’—have been dedicated either to measuring or counteracting the negative political, social, and economic effects that this form of corruption may have in society. Albeit significant and urgent, these studies have distracted the attention of commentators from a somewhat more basic analysis of the nature and wrongness of (...) this phenomenon. This lacuna has resulted in the formulation of a multiplicity of actions that address a very heterogeneous set of issues, including such diverse phenomena as bribery, embezzlement, institutional malfunctioning, the inadequacy of political leaders, and clientelism. This situation is unsatisfactory because it muddles important distinctions between different pathologies that may affect the public order. But it matters also for the design of anti-corruption strategies that risk to either misfire or be too vague by lacking a clear target and an account of the exact kind of wrong these strategies are meant to prevent and/or correct. In our research on this topic, we have addressed this issue by offering a normative analysis of political corruption as surreptitious public action. Our account explains the distinguishing traits of political corruption and makes sense of its inherent wrongness as a contradiction of the logic of publicity that undergirds political interactions in a rights-based system. In this chapter, we draw on this research and expand it with a view to enhancing the identification of relevant instances of political corruption and the design of policies to counteract them. (shrink)
This paper aims to outline the essential structural traits that a procedural theory of justice for the management of conflicts about values should display in order to combine open-endedness and cogency. To this purpose, it offers an investigation into the characteristics of procedural justice through a critical assessment of John Rawl’s taxonomy of prodeduralism, in terms of perfect, imperfect and pure procedural justice. Given the concessions the two former kinds of proceduralism make to substantive theories, and the potentially misleading characterisation (...) Rawls gave of pure procedural theories of justice, it reformulates the latter category in terms of impure proceduralism. In this case, the theory is required not to pose substantive constraints on the qualities of just outcomes, but is, rather, expected to provide a transcontextually applicable account of the qualities of just procedures on the basis of an independent criterion of justice. (shrink)
This Editorial outlines recent developments in the Journal’s scope, mission and review policy. It also illustrates the range of topics addressed on the pages of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, which is now entering its 24th year.
This article discusses a procedural, minimalist approach to justice in terms of fair hearing applicable to value conflicts at impasse in politics. This approach may be summarized in the Adversary Argumentation Principle (AAP): the idea that each side in a conflict should be heard. I engage with Stuart Hampshire’s efforts to justify the AAP and argue that those efforts have failed to provide normatively cogent foundations for it. I suggest deriving such foundations from a basic idea of procedural equality (all (...) parties in a conflict should be granted an equal chance to have a say) which all conflicting parties could be thought to endorse. But what happens once all parties have been heard if no agreement is reached? Borrowing a distinction well known to scholars of peace studies, but surprisingly neglected by justice-driven political philosophers, I claim that although the AAP might be inconclusive with regard to resolving a conflict, it is a promising principle for managing value conflicts justly. The AAP is thus considered anew through the lens of conflict management: as a principle of justice to characterize normatively the way conflicting parties should interact for their interaction to be morally justifiable to such parties with a view to changing antagonistic conflict dynamics into cooperative ones. (shrink)
I processi di transizione post-conflitto pongono questioni prominenti per l’agenda politica globale. Si pensi, per esempio, alla transizione democratica in Sud Africa dopo la fine dell’Apartheid o alla ricostruzione politica dei paesi facenti parte dell’ex-Jugoslavia all’indomani delle guerre dei Balcani. Quali principi normativi dovrebbero informare tali processi? Questa domanda è al cuore del crescente dibattito sulla “giustizia transizionale”. Questo dibattito si è concentrato principalmente sulla rettificazione delle ingiustizie occorse a causa dei torti perpetrati e subiti dalle parti coinvolte. Di conseguenza, (...) la giustizia è stata tipicamente concepita come una proprietà di esiti distributivi di diritti e opportunità. I processi di transizione post-conflitto sono giusti nella misura in cui sono in grado di condurre a tali esiti. Un simile approccio orientato agli esiti è capace di rendere conto di dimensioni morali, animate da preoccupazioni di giustizia e/o pacificazione, che dovrebbero certamente figurare nella caratterizzazione e valutazione normativa dei processi di transizione. Tuttavia, esso rischia di perdere di vista un’altra dimensione egualmente rilevante che riguarda le qualità inerenti ai processi di transizione stessi. Per illuminare questa dimensione, vorrei portare l’attenzione su di una diversa idea di giustizia che riguarda le proprietà inerenti alle interazioni tra persone; la giustizia nelle interazioni. La tesi che sosterrò è che le procedure costitutive dei processi di transizione post-conflitto non dovrebbero essere disegnate con la sola o prioritaria preoccupazione di condurre le parti a un consenso o compromesso su di un accordo capace di rettificare le ingiustizie perpetrate e subite. È anche necessario che questi processi siano strutturati in modo da consentire alle parti di reinterpretare il loro conflitto come un problema condiviso, che richiede l’instaurazione di dinamiche d’interazione cooperative capaci di realizzare forme di trattamento inerentemente giuste delle loro pretese reciproche. (shrink)
The article presents political corruption as a problem of public ethics of institutions. It first explains the theory of institutional action that underlies the conception of political corruption as a deficit of “office accountability”. Having clarified the officeholders’ duties in their institutional capacity, it portrays political corruption as an “internal enemy” of public institutions. A discussion follows of the normative implications for an approach to anti-corruption based on the officeholders’ direct engagement.
The paper explores some normative challenges concerning the integration of Machine Learning (ML) algorithms into anticorruption in public institutions. The challenges emerge from the tensions between an approach treating ML algorithms as allies to an exclusively legalistic conception of anticorruption and an approach seeing them within an institutional ethics of office accountability. We explore two main challenges. One concerns the variable opacity of some ML algorithms, which may affect public officeholders’ capacity to account for institutional processes relying upon ML techniques. (...) The other pinpoints the risk that automating certain institutional processes may weaken officeholders’ direct engagement to take forward-looking responsibility for the working of their institution. We discuss why both challenges matter to see how ML algorithms may enhance (and not hinder) institutional answerability practices. (shrink)
Most contemporary political philosophers take justice—rather than legitimacy—to be the fundamental virtue of political institutions vis-à-vis the challenges of ethical diversity. Justice-driven theorists are primarily concerned with finding mutually acceptable terms to arbitrate the claims of conflicting individuals and groups. Legitimacy-driven theorists, instead, focus on the conditions under which those exercising political authority on an ethically heterogeneous polity are entitled to do so. But what difference would it make to the management of ethical diversity in liberal democratic societies if legitimacy (...) were prior to or independent from justice? -/- This question identifies a widely underexplored issue whose theoretical salience shows how the understanding of what constitutes the primary question of political philosophy has a deep impact on how practical political questions are interpreted and addressed. What difference would it make, for example, whether the difficulties concerning the safeguard of human rights were couched in terms of the justice or of the legitimacy of the documents and treaties sanctioning their implementation. How should the issue of the quality of democracies be addressed whether one assigned priority to the justice or legitimacy of democratic institutions? Addressing these and other topical questions, the book offers a new theoretical angle from which to consider a number of pressing social and political issues. (shrink)
Institutional operability refers to the normative conditions governing the exercise of power of office that makes an institution work. Because institutional action occurs by the interrelated actions of the officeholders, a focus on institutional operability requires the analysis and assessment of the officeholders’ conduct in their institutional capacity. This article distinguishes two perspectives on operability: ‘outward’ and ‘inward.’ The outward view emphasizes predefined instructions for efficient execution, focusing on rule-following to achieve institutional purposes. The inward perspective highlights role-playing and reflective (...) engagement among officeholders to uphold an institution’s raison d’être. The inward perspective brings to the fore the relational aspect of institutional life and officeholders’ interrelated responsibility for guiding institutional action. (shrink)
Recent attempts at making sense of toleration as an ideal of political morality have focused on how liberal democratic institutions generate political arrangements that protect people’s freedom to “live their life as they see fit.” We show how these views rely on a one-dimensional interpretation of the liberal democratic political project. In so doing, they underestimate an important “interactive” dimension. This dimension concerns what it means for liberal democracies to realize toleration as a property inherent to their constitutive political processes. (...) We illustrate this claim with reference to the liberal democratic decision-making process. Such a process realizes toleration as forbearance in itself. It does so because it establishes the participants in the process as political agents who recognize their mutual standing to share the political authority to make collectively binding decisions, despite their grounds for reciprocal objection. (shrink)
It is a standard requirement of democratic theory that all members of society be treated with equal respect as capable of self-determination (Christiano 2004; Dworkin 1977; Gutmann and Thompson 2004; Patten 2011; Waldron 1999). The fulfillment of this requirement is problematic vis-à-vis conscientious dissenters. Conscientious dissenters refuse to comply with legally enforced duties when compliance risks jeopardizing their moral integrity, because the required behavior would compromise their loyalty to (some of) their moral commitments. Coercing conscientious dissenters into behavior they deem (...) morally wrong, qua contrary to their conscience, amounts to disrespect because it threatens their capacity for .. (shrink)
This Editorial to the 20th Anniversary Issue of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice outlines key challenges and opportunities arising from the recent explosion of responsibility studies in different areas. The underlying ambition is to counter the trend of fragmenting the philosophical debate around responsibility by bringing together helpful insights on related dimensions. The discussion is organised around three main themes: (1) Accountability, Attributability, Answerability, Liability; (2) Individuals, Collectives, Practices, and Institutions; and (3) Harms and Wrongs.
The article discusses the resort to whistleblowing as a form of resistance to institutional wrongdoing that comes from within an institution. The resort to whistleblowing can take either an individual or an institutional form. As an individual act of resistance, whistleblowing has often been presented as a last resort against institutional wrongdoing whose justification draws on normative arguments for civil disobedience. The institutional form we present in this article shows a nontrivial sense in which a “normalized resort” to whistleblowing can (...) be morally justified as an ordinary practice to resist institutional wrongdoing. Whistleblowing is thus a component of an institutional ethics of office that calls on officeholders’ responsibility to engage in practices of self-scrutiny and self-correction of institutional dysfunctions. The integration of the justification of the resort to whistleblowing within this framework emphasizes the importance of entrusting the oversight of institutional action primarily to institutional members. (shrink)
This is a support piece to the Philosophy Compass article "Theories of Whistleblowing." It gives indications for some essential bibliography helpful to design a teaching module on the justification of whistleblowing.
L’oggetto di questo studio è il tipo di contributo che le teorizzazioni filosofiche sulla giustizia possono dare in risposta ai conflitti di valori in politica, perseguendo la risoluzione o la gestione di questi ultimi, e le implicazioni che la scelta di una di queste strade può avere sulla struttura della teoria stessa.
"This book discusses political corruption and anticorruption as a matter of a public ethics of office. It shows how political corruption is the Trojan horse that undermines public institutions from within via the interrelated action of the officeholders. Even well-designed and legitimate institutions may go off track if the officeholders fail to uphold by their conduct a public ethics of office accountability. Most current discussions of what political corruption is and why it is wrong have concentrated either on explaining and (...) assessing it as a matter of an individual's corrupt character and motives or as a dysfunction of institutional procedures. The book investigates the common normative root of these two manifestations of political corruption as a relationally wrongful practice that consists in an unaccountable use of the power of office by the officeholders in public institutions. From this perspective, political corruption is an internal enemy of public institutions that can only be opposed by mobilizing the officeholders to engage in answerability practices. In this way, officeholders are responsible for working together to maintain an interactively just institutional system"--. (shrink)