In dialogue with the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt and Seyla Benhabib the author draws on the idea of a right to have rights and raises the question under which political conditions asylum can be a subjective right for political refugees. He argues that mere spontaneous acts of humanitarianism will not suffice to define the institutional commitments of liberal democracies in refugee policy. At the same time, no duty for any particular state to take up refugees can be derived from (...) a right to have rights. The quest for institutional solutions for a timely migration and asylum policy will rather enhance the discourses on the self-understanding of liberal democracies. With a critical eye on German asylum legislation and legal practice, the author contends that it will be a task of any co-ordinated European right of asylum to define political persecution in relation to the first dimension of human rights in order to differentiate the right of asylum from immigration legislation. (shrink)
Rival paradigms of genetics suggest different perceptions of human life and, correspondingly, of the task of medicine. In dialogue with two paradigmatic heuristics of genetics, I will show that bioethics needs to articulate a narrative that encourages a renewed understanding of the complexity of the phenomena of human life to which molecular medicine must be open. These considerations will be put to the test by discussing the ethical implications of the recent developments in stem cell research and in personal genetics.
The author suggests that a synchronic reading of Bonhoeffer's major works yields a typology of the two main images around which Bonhoeffer's political ethics orbit: disciple and citizen. Concentrating on the latter, the author shows the centrality of the question of power for Bonhoeffer's political ethics, and how it relates to responsibility and vocation. He argues that Bonhoeffer's ethics follows a christological grammar which constitutes its specific realism and provides its focus on institutions and good works. The essay concludes that (...) the call to citizenship, the vocation of co-operative, representative and vicarious action, forms the central idea of Bonhoeffer's political ethics, which is still highly relevant for political ethics today. (shrink)