This book focuses on a question issued from The Architectonic of Pure Reason, one of the most important sections of Kant's first Critique: what is the human being? It suggests that the answer to this question is tied to a particular account of the unity of reason - one that stresses its purposive character.
For a century at least, parties have been central to the study of politics. Yet their typical conceptual reduction to a network of power-seeking elites has left many to wonder why parties were ever thought crucial to democracy. This book seeks to retrieve a richer conception of partisanship, drawing on modern political thought and extending it in the light of contemporary democratic theory and practice. Looking beyond the party as organization, the book develops an original account of what it is (...) to be a partisan. It examines the ideas, orientations, obligations, and practices constitutive of partisanship properly understood, and how these intersect with the core features of democratic life. Such an account serves to underline in distinctive fashion why democracy needs its partisans, and puts in relief some of the key trends of contemporary politics. (shrink)
This article explores the justification of states' territorial rights. It starts by introducing three questions that all current theories of territorial rights attempt to answer: how to justify the right to settle, the right to exclude, and the right to settle and exclude with reference to a particular territory. It proposes a ‘permissive’ theory of territorial rights, arguing that the citizens of each state are entitled to the particular territory they collectively occupy, if and only if they are also politically (...) committed to the establishment of a global political authority realizing just reciprocal relations. The article is developed by introducing some key features of the permissive theory and by explaining how such an account addresses the questions of settlement, exclusion and particularity in ways that significantly improve on existing rival accounts (most prominently: acquisition theories, legitimacy-based theories and nationalist theories). (shrink)
Written by an international team of leading political and legal theory scholars whose writings have contributed to shaping the field, Migration in Political Theory presents seminal new work on the ethics of movement and membership. The volume addresses challenging and under-researched themes on the subject of migration, and debates the question of whether we ought to recognize a human right to immigrate, and whether it might be legitimate to restrict emigration. The authors critically examine criteria for selecting would-be migrants, and (...) for acquiring citizenship, as well as the tensions between the claims of immigrants and existing residents, and tackle questions of migrant worker exploitation and responsibility for refugees. All of the chapters illustrate the importance of drawing on the tools of political theory to clarifying, criticize and challenge the current terms of the migration debate. (shrink)
Global Justice and Avant-Garde Political Agency offers a fresh, nuanced example of political theory in an activist mode. Setting the debate on global justice in the context of recent methodological disputes on the relationship between ideal and nonideal theorizing, Ypi's dialectical account shows how principles and agency really can interact.
Reflection on the historical injustice suffered by many formerly colonized groups has left us with a peculiar account of their claims to material objects. One important upshot of that account, relevant to present day justice, is that many people seem to think that members of indigenous groups have special claims to the use of particular external objects by virtue of their attachment to them. In the first part of this paper I argue against that attachment-based claim. In the second part (...) I suggest that, to provide a normatively defensible account of why sometimes agents who are attached to certain external objects might also have special claims over them, the most important consideration is whether the agents making such claims suffer from structural injustice in the present. In the third part I try to explain why structural injustice matters, in what way attachment-based claims relate to it and when they count. (shrink)
This essay compares the thoughts of Kant and Marx on revolution. It focuses in particular on two issues: the contribution of revolutionary enthusiasm to the cause of emancipatory political agents and its educative role in illustrating the possibility of progress for future generations. In both cases, it is argued, the defence of revolution is offered in the context of illustrating the possibility of moral progress for the species, even if not for individual human beings, and brings out the centrality of (...) collective agency in moving toward universal moral goals. Discussing the implications of these points is of significant historical interest: it allows us to defend an interpretation of Kant’s political thought which is sensitive to the material conditions of historical development and to rescue Marx from an amoral reading of his philosophy of history. Reflecting on the role and preconditions of transformative collective agency is also of normative interest: it allows us to better evaluate the significance of political events that, firstly, re-shape the boundaries of political feasibility and, secondly, play a crucial educative role in motivating future progressive initiatives. (shrink)
Is it possible to justify territorial rights? Provided a justification for territorial rights can be found, does it ground claims toparticularterritories? And provided a claim to particular territories can be justified, what kind of claim is it? Is it a claim to jurisdiction? A claim to control resources? A claim to control the movement of people across borders? In this paper I review some prominent accounts seeking to answer these questions. After outlining their main features, I focus on some difficulties (...) they encounter, in particular with regard to the justification of exclusion. (shrink)
Contemporary political theory has made the question of the “people” a topic of sustained analysis. This article identifies two broad approaches taken—norm-based and contestation-based—and, noting some problems left outstanding, goes on to advance a complementary account centred on partisan practice. It suggests the definition of “the people” is closely bound up in the analysis of political conflict, and that partisans engaged in such conflict play an essential role in constructing and contesting different principled conceptions. The article goes on to show (...) how such an account does not lead to a normatively hollow, purely historical conception of “the people,” but rather highlights the normative importance of practices that, at the minimum, de-naturalise undesirable conceptions of the people and, at their best, give political legitimacy and a representative basis to those one might wish to see prosper. (shrink)
This paper makes the case for amnesty of irregular migrants by reflecting on the conditions under which a wrong that is done in the past can be considered superseded. It explores the relation between historical injustice and irregular migration and suggests that we should hold states to the same stringent standards of compliance with just norms that they apply to the assessment of the moral conduct of individual migrants. It concludes that those standards ought to orient migrants and citizens’ moral (...) assessment of how their states handle questions of irregular migration and to inform political initiatives compatible with these moral assessments. (shrink)
This article analyses the teleological argument justifying historical progress in Kant's Guarantee of Perpetual Peace. It starts by examining the controversies produced by Kant's claim that the teleology of nature supports the idea of a providential development of humanity towards moral progress and the possibility of achieving a cosmopolitan political constitution. It further illustrates how Kant's teleological argument in Perpetual Peace needs to be assessed with reference to two systematically relevant issues: first, the problem of coordination linked to the necessity (...) of realizing the ‘highest good’ as a historical end of practical reason, and secondly the problem of continuity posed by the temporal limitation of all individual efforts to cultivate moral dispositions. To illustrate the implications of both issues for the teleological argument in Perpetual Peace, the article draws attention to some important developments in Kant's analysis of teleology following the Critique of Judgment. (shrink)
This article examines Kant’s and Marx’s analysis of religion in its relation to human emancipation. It highlights some important affinities in their accounts of human nature and their critique of religious authority including: the emphasis on freedom as distinguishing human beings from other species, the relation between moral and political progress, the critique of revealed religion, the role of political community and the importance of ethical community to achieve moral emancipation.
This book presents the first full exploration of Kant's position on colonialism. Leading experts in both political thought and normative theory place Kant's thoughts on the subject in historical context, examine the tensions that colonialism produces in his work, and evaluate the relevance of these reflections for current debates on global justice.
Matteo Bonotti’s book on Partisanship and Public Reason in Diverse Societies is grounded on a theory of partisanship that sees the demands of public reason as internal to the very definition of a party. Bonotti suggests that partisanship is not only compatible with but essential to the stability and legitimacy of a well-ordered liberal society. My paper aims to raise some questions internal to the liberal account of partisanship so as to probe the methodological foundations and plausibility of the liberal (...) framework taken as a whole. My argument is that the assumption of a sufficiently just liberal society on which the book grounds its defence of partisanship makes us ill-equipped to face some of the most critical challenges that liberal societies face in the world that we live. (shrink)
Libertarians often invoke the principle of self-ownership to discredit distributive interventions authorized by the more-than-minimal state. But if one takes a democratic approach to the justification of ownership claims, including claims of ownership over oneself, the validity of the self-ownership principle is theoretically inseparable from the normative justification of the state. Since the idea of the state is essential to the very assertion (not just the positive enforcement) of the principle of self-ownership, invoking the principle to discredit a distribution of (...) ownership authorized by the state commits libertarians also to weakening that principle's validity. Put differently, appealing to the self-ownership principle to circumscribe the state's power to distribute property is problematic when the state is necessary to assert the validity of that principle. This is because anytime the self-ownership principle is used to undermine a state-based distribution of property it is also implicitly eroding the ground for asserting its own validity.1. (shrink)
In this article, we examine how language and linguistic membership might feature in luck egalitarianism, what a luck-egalitarian theory of linguistic justice would look like, and, finally, what the emphasis on language teaches us about the validity of standard luck-egalitarian assumptions. We show that belonging to one language group rather than another is a morally arbitrary feature and that where membership of a specific linguistic group affects individual chances, the effects of such bad brute luck ought to be neutralized on (...) the luck-egalitarian view. We assess two ways of redressing those kinds of unjustified inequalities: the ‘universal language’ option and the ‘linguistic advantages for all’ option. But we also argue, in the second part, that exploring luck egalitarianism through the lens of language exposes some difficulties intrinsic in many existent luck-egalitarian theories. We argue that treating circumstances one identifies with as choices is problematic. In addition, we argue that the linguistic preconditions of both the capacity to be responsible as well the exercise of responsibility complicate the idea of individual responsibility on which most luck-egalitarian theories rely. We conclude by suggesting the need to develop a luck-egalitarian theory of justice which is less reliant on causal features of the distinction between choice and circumstance and which is more sensitive to the idea of collective cooperation as opposed to individual responsibility. (shrink)
This article explores the tensions between cosmopolitanism and sovereignty as a means to conceptualize the ethics of European foreign policy. It starts by discussing the claim that, in order for the EU to play a meaningful role as an international actor, a definition of the common ethical values orienting its political conduct is required. The question of a European federation of states and its ethical conceptualization emerges clearly in some of the philosophical writings of the 17th and 18th centuries. I (...) seek to provide an outline of the main arguments presented by authors such as Saint Pierre, Rousseau and Kant regarding the implications of the emerging difference between cosmopolitanism and the law of nations in the ethics of international relations. The article focuses on the normative significance of the concept of sovereignty as it emerges in modern political philosophy and highlights its tensions with the ideas of moral and political cosmopolitanism. This exploration serves a double function: theoretical and practical. From the theoretical perspective it leads to a better understanding of the tensions involved in conceptualizing a common ethical orientation for the states of Europe. From the practical standpoint it sheds light on some persistent difficulties the European Union faces in trying to move beyond an intergovernmental political arrangement in the field of foreign policy. (shrink)
Many cosmopolitans link their moral defence of specific principles of justice to a critique of the normative standing of states. This article explores some conceptual distinctions between morality and justice by focusing on the nature of claims they entail, the obligations they generate and the distribution of agency that they require. It then draws out some implications of these distinctions so as to illustrate how states play a non-arbitrary role in the process of both rendering determinate the principles of global (...) justice and allocating agency compatibly with strict rather than large obligations. Contrary to many existent defences of the state, it shows how a similar conception promotes rather than undermining the ideal of global justice. Keywords: cosmopolitanism; statism; equality; justice; morality (Published: 1 September 2010) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2010, pp. 171-192. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v3i3.5487. (shrink)
This article critically engages with Rainer Forst’s recent book Justification and Critique: Towards a Critical Theory of Politics, focusing in particular on his account of utopia in the last part of it.
The quote that inspires a part of my title will be familiar to most readers. In the concluding paragraphs of the Preface to his Philosophy of Right, Hegel examines the role of philosophy in prescribing principles on how the world ought to be. ‘When philosophy paints its grey in grey’, Hegel writes, citing a part of Goethe’s Faust,'A shape of life has grown old, and it cannot be rejuvenated, but only recognized by the grey in grey of philosophy; the owl (...) of Minerva begins its flight only when the shadows of night are gathering.'. (shrink)
This article contributes to studies in democratic theory and civic engagement by critically reflecting on the role of contemporary art for the transformation of the public sphere. It begins with a short assessment of the role of art during the Enlightenment, when the communicative function and the public role of art were most clearly articulated. It refers in particular to the analogies between aesthetic and political judgement in order to understand the emancipatory role of artistic production within a philosophical project (...) centred on reason’s capacity to liberate itself from the dogmatism of authority and from the errors of superstition, both elements considered crucial to the development of a functioning public sphere. The article then discusses the historical transformation of art following a number of philosophical and sociological critiques to a similar project of the Enlightenment and assesses the attempt of historical avant-gardes to appropriate this critique yet maintain art’s emancipatory function in society. Having examined some problems raised by these attempts, the article turns to the analogies with contemporary artistic production. It examines the role of contemporary visual art in the public sphere and shows how the anti-rationalist theories articulated to reflect on contemporary works of art, and the works themselves, both fail to develop art’s emancipatory role in society. Without rethinking artistic experience in a way that places emphasis on reason’s capacity for critical and constructive self-understanding and without reconsidering art theory in a way that brings back the emphasis on the emancipatory role of rational communication, contemporary art, far from contributing to the revitalization of the public sphere, will contribute to its decline. (shrink)