Sunday, February 28, 2010

Podcast: Johanthan Wolff on John Rawls

From the webblog "Philosophy Bites":
Nigel Warburton interviews Jonathan Wolff about John Rawls' main ideas and their limitations

Interview on John Rawls' "A Theory of Justice" (19 minutes)

Johanthan Wolff is Professor of Philosophy at the University College London.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Interview with Martha Nussbaum on "From Disgust to Humanity"

From "The Nation" (February 25, 2010), an interview with professor Martha Nussbaum on her new book "From Disgust to Humanity. Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law" (Oxford University Press, 2010):

Interview with Martha Nussbaum

"I don't think any emotion should be trusted on its own without being constantly in dialogue with moral principles. At every point, whether it's anger or fear or any emotion - even compassion, which can, of course, lead you to favor your family against other people - you should always be asking, Is this consistent with the idea of a society of people who are free and equal? Disgust, though, is different because it has this singular type of irrationality. It's not noncognitive; it has an idea. But the idea repudiates some aspect of ourselves. It embodies a kind of self-loathing. In the case of compassion, compassion can be uneven; it can target people in a partial way. Or anger can be wrong about the facts. But disgust always has this edgy irrationality about it. It's a way of fleeing from yourself. Whether it's useful in evolutionary terms, that I leave to evolutionary scientists. Probably it is. That doesn't mean that in the law we should rely on it. The imagination of humanity, of course, can be unreliable too. But all we're really asking is that people see the other people as people."

Martha Nussbaum is Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago.

See my post on Nussbaum's new book here.

New book: Islam, Democracy and Dialogue in Turkey

Islam, Democracy and Dialogue in Turkey
Deliberating in Divided Societies

by Bora Kanra

(Ashgate, 2009) 192 pp.


Most theorists of deliberative democracy treat deliberation as a procedure in decision-making. This approach neglects an important phase oriented not so much to decision-making but to social learning and understanding. Combining deliberative theory with research from social psychology, Bora Kanra has developed an innovative critique and synthesis by allocating social learning its own formal sphere. For deliberative democracy to produce better outcomes, decision-making needs to be reinforced by opportunities for social learning.

Stressing the importance of the development of democratic dialogue in divided societies, Kanra tests his claims of a new deliberative framework by analyzing interaction between Islamic and secular discourses in the Turkish public sphere. This in-depth analysis of converging and diverging political beliefs and traditions between seculars and Islamists emphasizes the importance of social learning in a sharply divided society.


Introduction [pdf]

1. Deliberation as Social Learning
2. Background to the Case of Turkey
3. The Q Study
4. Discourse Analysis
5. Discourse Comparison
6. Prospects for New Forms of Cooperation
7. Further Reflections on Social Learning
8. Conclusion

Bora Kanra is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National University, Australia. He is participating in ANU's research program on "Deliberative Democracy & Global Governance" with professor John Dryzek & professor Robert Goodin. See his paper on "Binary Deliberation: Enhancing the Role of Social Learning in Deliberative Democracy."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Reading group on Sen's "The Idea of Justice"

An international online reading group on Amartya Sen’s recent book "The Idea of Justice" (Harvard University Press, 2009) has started on the webblog "Public Reason".

See the schedule - and the first post by Colin Farrelly on the introduction to Sen's book.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gregory Magarian on religious argument in a liberal democracy

From the Social Science Research Network (SSRN):

"Religious Argument, Free Speech Theory, and Democratic Dynamism"

by Gregory P. Magarian
(Washington University School of Law in St. Louis)

Political theorists have long debated whether liberal democratic norms of public political debate should constrain political arguments grounded in religious beliefs or similar conscientious commitments. In this Article, Professor Magarian contends that normative insights from free speech theory have salience for this controversy and should ultimately lead us to reject any normative constraint on religious argument. On the restrictive side of the debate stand prominent liberal theorists, led by John Rawls, who maintain that arguments grounded in religion and other comprehensive commitments threaten liberal democracy by offering illegitimate grounds for government action and destabilizing democratic politics. On the permissive side stand leading advocates for religious liberty, who deny that religious arguments pose any threat to liberal democracy and insist that normative constraints on religious argument deny religious believers’ political autonomy. Both sides proceed from their premises about whether religious argument threatens liberal democracy to their conclusions about whether norms of public political debate should constrain religious argument. Professor Magarian agrees with the restrictive premise that religious argument poses a meaningful threat to liberal democracy, and he accordingly rejects the logic of the permissive position. He finds deeper fault, however, with the restrictive theorists’ move from consciousness of danger to advocacy of normative constraint. Drawing upon two prominent free speech controversies – the debates over First Amendment protection for Communist advocacy and the First Amendment’s proper role in balancing values of political dynamism and political stability – Professor Magarian derives normative lessons that counsel against constraints on religious argument. Based on the Communist speech controversy, he contends that even political advocacy that existentially threatens liberal democracy adds distinctive value to liberal democratic political discourse. Based on the stability-dynamism controversy, he contends that political conditions in the contemporary United States and the nature of religious advocacy make religious argument, at the margin, more beneficial than threatening to our political culture. As a corollary to his rejection of normative constraints on religious argument, Professor Magarian contends that our norms of public political debate should also freely permit substantive political criticism of religious arguments and doctrines.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

BBC Radio 4 on the Frankfurt School

From BBC Radio 4, Melvyn Bragg and guests Raymond Geuss, Esther Leslie and Jonathan Rée discuss the Frankfurt School:

"In Our Time: The Frankfurt School"
(45 minutes)

Raymond Geuss is a professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge; Esther Leslie is Professor in Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, University of London; Jonathan Rée is a freelance historian and philosopher, currently Visiting Professor at Roehampton University and at the Royal College of Art.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Book symposium on Bohman's "Democracy Across Borders"

The latest issue of the journal "Ethics & Global Politics" (vol. 3, no. 1, 2010) features a book symposium on James Bohman's "Democracy Across Borders" (MIT Press, 2007).

All articles are available online (pdf):

Introducing Democracy Across Borders: From Dêmos to Dêmoi
- James Bohman

Can Democracy Go Global?
- Cristina Lafont

Democratic Theory and the Present/Absent International
- R.B.J. Walker

Agency, Political Economy, and the Transnational Democratic Ideal
- Brendan Hogan

Beyond the Self-legislation Model of Democracy
- Mark E. Warren

Equal Rights as the Center of Democratization
- Alan Gilbert

Response to My Critics: Democracy Across Borders
- James Bohman

James Bohman is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of International Studies at Saint Louis University.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Detlef Horster's introduction to Habermas

Jürgen Habermas: Eine Einführung

by Detlef Horster

(Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2010)

112 pp.

A new and updated edition of Detlef Horster's fine introduction to Jürgen Habermas. Previous editions of the introduction were published in 1980 and 1999.

Detlef Horster is Emeritus Professor of Social Philosophy at the Leibniz University in Hannover. In 2006 he published "Jürgen Habermas und der Papst. Glauben und Vernunft, Gerechtigkeit und Nächstenliebe im säkularen Staat" (Transcript Verlag).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ethics and Humanity: Tribute to Jonathan Glover

Ethics and Humanity
Themes from the Philosophy of Jonathan Glover

Edited by N. Ann Davis, Richard Keshen,
and Jeff McMahan

(Oxford University Press, 2010)


"Ethics and Humanity" pays to tribute to Jonathan Glover, a pioneering figure whose thought and personal influence have had a significant impact on applied philosophy. In topics that include genetic engineering, abortion, euthanasia, war, and moral responsibility, Glover has made seminal contributions. The papers collected here address topics to which Glover has contributed, with particular emphasis on problems of conflict discussed in his book, "Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century". There are also moving testaments to the influence Glover has had on colleagues, students, and friends. Glover himself contributes a series of fine replies, which constitute an important addition to his published work.


Part 1: Torture
1: What Should We Do About Torture? - James Griffin [preview]

Part 2: War
2: The Consequences of War - Thomas Hurka [paper]
3: Humanitarian Intervention, Consent, and Proportionality - Jeff McMahan

Part 3: Ethics, Truth, and Belief
4: Humanity and the Perils of Perniciously Politicized Science - N. Ann Davis
5: Social Moral Epistemology and the Tasks of Ethics - Allen Buchanan
6: The Strains of Dialogue - Richard Keshen

Part 4: Bioethics and Beyond
7: Humanity and Hyper-Regulation: from Nuremberg to Helsinki - Onora O'Neill
8: Transhumanity: A Moral Vision of the Twenty-First Century - John Harris

Part 5: Some Silences in Humanity
9: The Foundations of Humanity - Roger Crisp
10: Bystanders to Poverty - Peter Singer
11: Compassion: Human and Animal - Martha Nussbaum [podcast]

Part 6: Personal
12: Jonathan Glover - Alan Ryan

Part 7: Responses
13: A Summing Up - Jonathan Glover

Jonathan Glover is Professor of Ethics at King's College, London, and a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Updated links to the Honneth/Sloterdijk debate

I have updated my links to the Honneth/Sloterdijk debate on the welfare state, taxation and kleptocracy. See here.

The lastest additions are:

Albrecht von Lucke - Abschied vom "Aufstiegsversprechen der Republik" (Interview)
(Deutschlandsradio, February 15, 2010)

Norbert Bolz - Ohne Ungleichheit kein Leistungsansporn (Interview)
(Deutschlandsradio, February 16, 2010)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Honneth against Sloterdijk (English translation)

English translation of Axel Honneth's critique of Peter Sloterdijk (Die Zeit, September 24, 2009):

"Fatal Profundity"

Tranlated by Cameron Shingleton and posted on his blog "The Great Stage".

See my links to the Honneth/Sloterdijk debate here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Critical Theory and Habermas - a discussion between Negt, Müller-Doohm & Kaube

Audio from "Radio Bremen":

A discussion between Oskar Negt, Stefan Müller-Doohm and Jürgen Kaube on Critical Theory and Jürgen Habermas.

"Kritische Theorie - ein Zukunftsprojekt?"
(in German, 54 minutes)

Oskar Negt is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Hannover. He was a student of Theodor Adorno at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, and was Jürgen Habermas's assistent in the sixties.

Stefan Müller-Doohm is Professor of Sociology at Oldenburg University. He has written a major biography on Theodor Adorno and a short biography on Habermas - "Jürgen Habermas. Leben, Werk, Wirkung" (Suhrkamp Verlag 2008).

Jürgen Kaube is editor for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He was student of Niklas Luhmann at Bielefeld University.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Axel Honneth to Columbia University

News from Columbia University:

"We are delighted to announce that Axel Honneth, currently Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institut für Sozialforschung (originally home to the so-called Frankfurt School) at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, will join the Philosophy Department of Columbia University.

Professor Honneth will come on a Mellon appointment and will hold the newly established Jack B. Weinstein Chair in the Humanities. The appointment will be effective beginning with the Fall 2011 semester."

The faculty includes Jon Elster, R. Kent Greenawalt, Christopher Peacocke, Frederick Neuhouser, and David Sidorsky.

New book on the History of Liberty

A Brief History of Liberty

by David Schmidtz & Jason Brennan

(Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 280 pp.


Through a fusion of philosophical, social scientific, and historical methods, "A Brief History of Liberty" provides a comprehensive, philosophically-informed portrait of the elusive nature of one of our most cherished ideals.

Liberty' appears to a refer to a cluster of related things. This work of avowedly non-ideal theory examines what institutions have tended to promote or demote different kinds of liberty and determine what good that has done for people.


Introduction: Conceptions of Freedom [preview]

1. A Prehistory of Liberty: Forty Thousand Years Ago
2. The Rule of Law: 1075 C.E.
3. Religious Freedom: 1517
4. Freedom of Commerce: 1776
5. Civil Liberty: 1954
6. Psychological Freedom, The Last Frontier: 1963

David Schmidtz is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona.

Jason Brennan is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Research, at Brown University.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ten forthcoming books on Jürgen Habermas

An Awareness of What is Missing: Faith and Reason in a Post-secular Age
(Polity Press / John Wiley & Sons, 2010) [info]

Habermas: A Guide for the Perplexed
(Continuum Books, Feb 18, 2010) [info]

Jürgen Habermas: Eine Einführung [New edition]
(Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2010) [info]

Habermas and Literary Rationality. Aesthetics of Authenticity
(Routledge, May 2010) [info]

The Critique of Instrumental Reason from Weber to Habermas
(Continuum Books, July 2010) [info]

Rawls and Habermas: Reason, Pluralism, and the Claims of Political Philosophy
(Stanford University Press, 2010) [info]

Habermas and Rawls: Disputing the Political
(Routledge, Sep 2010) [info]

Beyond Universal Pragmatics: Studies in the Philosophy of Communication
(Peter Lang, 2010) [info]

Habermas and Theology
(Continuum Books, Feb 2011) [info]

(Routledge, April 2011) [info]

Monday, February 08, 2010

Martha Nussbaum's new book on Sexual Orientation

From Disgust to Humanity
Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law

by Martha C. Nussbaum

(Oxford University Press, 2010)


In "From Disgust to Humanity", Martha Nussbaum aims her considerable intellectual firepower at the bulwark of opposition to gay equality: The politics of disgust. She argues that disgust has long been among the fundamental motivations of those who are fighting for legal discrimination against lesbian and gay citizens. When confronted with same-sex acts and relationships, she writes, they experience "a deep aversion akin to that inspired by bodily wastes, slimy insects, and spoiled food--and then cite that very reaction to justify a range of legal restrictions, from sodomy laws to bans on same-sex marriage." Leon Kass, former head of President Bush's President's Council on Bioethics, even argues that this repugnance has an inherent "wisdom," steering us away from destructive choices. Nussbaum believes that the politics of disgust must be confronted directly, for it contradicts the basic principle of the equality of all citizens under the law. "It says that the mere fact that you happen to make me want to vomit is reason enough for me to treat you as a social pariah, denying you some of your most basic entitlements as a citizen." In its place she offers a "politics of humanity," based not merely on respect, but something akin to love, an uplifting imaginative engagement with others, an active effort to see the world from their perspectives, as fellow human beings. Combining rigorous analysis of the leading constitutional cases with philosophical reflection about underlying concepts of privacy, respect, discrimination, and liberty, Nussbaum discusses issues ranging from non-discrimination and same-sex marriage to "public sex." Recent landmark decisions suggest that the views of state and federal courts are shifting toward a humanity-centered vision, and Nussbaum's powerful arguments will undoubtedly advance that cause.


1. Disgust: An Unreliable Emotion
2. What History Shows: Same-Sex Sex Without Disgust
3. What History Shows II: Disgust And Stigma As Avenues Of Subordination
Sodomy Laws: Disgust And Intrusion
5. Discrimination And Anti-Discrimination: Romer And Animus
6. Protecting Intimacy: Sex Clubs, Public Sex, Risky Choices
7. The Right To Marry [essay]

Martha Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, appointed in Law, Philosophy, and Divinity. She is now on tour for her new book.

Read the recent interview with Martha Nussbaum in New York Times Magazine.

Video: Martha Nussbaum talks about "Same-Sex Marriage and the Constitution".

Video with Nussbaum talking about her new book at Harvard Book Store, March 26, 2010: "Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law".

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Philosophy, the Real World and Jokes: From the Cohen Memorial Conference at McGill

Podcasts from:

G.A. Cohen (1941-2009) - In Memoriam Conference
A Critical Celebration of His Life and Work
McGill University
November 27, 2009

Jacob T. Levy
Cohen on the Tasks of Political Philosophy [mp3]

Jurgen De Wispelaere
Cohen in the Real World? Equality, Justice and Social Institutions [mp3]

Daniel Weinstock
Cohen and Cohen on Jokes [mp3]

From Radio CREUM - The University of Montreal's "Centre de recherche en éthique".

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Paula Casal on the Trilemma Between Equality, Efficiency and Liberty

Forthcoming in "Philosophy and Public Affairs", a paper by professor Paula Casal on G. A. Cohen' s critique of John Rawls's "Theory of Justice" and a Millian response to the dispute:

Mill, Rawls, Cohen and the Egalitarian Trilemma”.

On February 10, Paula Casal speaks about her paper at the Faculty of Laws, University College London. More information here.

Paula Casal is Research Professor at the Law Department at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. In her forthcoming book "Just Equality" (Oxford University Press) she examines contemporary egalitarian theories.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

José Casanova on Habermas and secularization

At a workshop with Jürgen Habermas at New York University, October 2009, professor José Casanova presented a paper entitled "Are we still secular? Exploring the post-secular: Three Meanings of "the Secular" and their possible transcendence".

The paper is now available on the website of The Centre for the Study of Religion and Society, Uppsala University, Sweden. See here [word file].

In his paper, Casanova criticizes Habermas's view on secularization.

José Casanova is Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, Washington DC and a Senior Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Casanova has published widely on sociological theory, migration, religion and globalization. See especially his "Public Religion in the Modern World" (University Of Chicago Press, 1994).

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Postsecular World Society? - an interview with Habermas

From "The Immanent Frame", a new interview with Jürgen Habermas by Eduardo Mendieta:

A Postsecular World Society?
On the Philosophical Significance of Postsecular Consciousness and the Multicultural World Society


On religion in the public sphere and politics
(*) In my view, positions that do not wish to subject the political influence of religious voices to formal constraints blur the limits without which a secular state cannot maintain its impartiality. What must be safeguarded is that the decisions of the legislator, the executive branch, and the courts are not only formulated in a universally accessible language, but are also justified on the basis of universally acceptable reasons. This excludes religious reasons from decisions about all state-sanctioned — that is, legally binding — norms. Apart from that, I do not believe that secular citizens can learn anything from fundamentalist doctrines that cannot cope with the fact of pluralism, with the public authority of the sciences, and with the egalitarianism of our constitutional principles.

(*) The liberal state may not in the political public sphere, that is to say, at the root of the democratic process, censure the expressions of religious citizens, nor can it control their motives at the ballot box. To this extent, the collective self-understanding of a liberal polity should not remain untouched by worldview pluralism in civil society. To be sure, the content of religious expressions must be translated into a universally accessible language before it can make it onto official agendas and flow into the deliberations of decision-making bodies. But religious citizens and religious communities retain influence precisely in those places in which the democratic process originates in the encounter between religious and non-religious sections of the population. As long as politically relevant public opinion is fed by this reservoir of the public use of reason by religious and non-religious citizens, it must belong to the collective self-understanding of all citizens that deliberatively formed democratic legitimation is nourished also by religious voices and confrontations stimulated by religion.

On translating religious concepts into secular thinking
(*) The long process of translating essential, religious contents into the language of philosophy began in late antiquity; we only need to think of concepts like person and individuality, freedom and justice, solidarity and community, emancipation, history, and crisis. We cannot know whether this process of appropriating semantic potentials from a discourse that in its core remains inaccessible has exhausted itself, or if it can be continued. The conceptual labor of religious writers and authors such as the young Bloch, Benjamin, Levinas, or Derrida speaks in favor of the continuing productivity of such a philosophical effort. And this suggests a change of attitude in favor of a dialogical relationship, open to learning, with all religious traditions, and a reflection on the position of postmetaphysical thinking between the sciences and religion.

(*) […..] we should not blur the difference that exists between faith and knowledge in the mode of taking-to-be-true. Even if thinking about the postsecular situation should result in an altered attitude toward religion, this revisionism may not change the fact that postmetaphysical thinking is a secular thinking that insists on distinguishing faith and knowledge as two essentially different modes of taking-to-be-true.

On the multicultural world society
(*) Today we find ourselves in the transition to a multicultural world society and are wrestling with its future political constitution. The outcome is entirely open-ended. To me, global modernity looks like an open arena in which participants, from the viewpoints of different paths of cultural development, struggle [streiten] over the normative structuring of social infrastructures that are more or less shared. It is an open question whether we will succeed in overcoming the atavistic condition of the social-Darwinist “catch as catch can,” still dominant today in international relations, to the point at which capitalism, globally unleashed and run wild, can be tamed and channeled in socially acceptable ways.

(*) [..…] intercultural discourses about the foundations of a more just international order can no longer be conducted one-sidedly, from the perspective of “first-borns.” These discourses must become habitual [sich eins-pielen] under the symmetrical conditions of mutual perspective-taking if the global players are to finally bring their social-Darwinist power games under control. The West is one participant among others, and all participants must be willing to be enlightened by others about their respective blind spots. If we were to learn one lesson from the financial crisis, it is that it is high time for the multicultural world society to develop a political constitution.

Eduardo Mendieta is Associate Professor at Stony Brook University, New York. In 2002, he edited Jürgen Habermas's "Religion and Rationality. Essays on Reason, God, and Modernity" (MIT Press & Polity Press, 2002). It includes Mendieta's famous interview with Habermas: "A Conversation About God and the World" from 1999.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Essays on Legitimacy, Justice and Public International Law

Legitimacy, Justice and Public International Law

Edited by Lukas H. Meyer

(Cambridge University Press, 2009)

332 pages


Do states or individuals stand under duties of international justice to people who live elsewhere and to other states? How are we to assess the legitimacy of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Security Council? Should we support reforms of international institutions and how should we go about assessing alternative proposals of such reforms? The book brings together leading scholars of public international law, jurisprudence and international relations, political philosophers and political theorists to explore the central notions of international legitimacy and global justice. The essays examine how these notions are related and how understanding the relationships will help us comparatively assess the validity of proposals for the reform of international institutions and public international law.


Introduction: Legitimacy, Justice and Public International Law. Three Perspectives on the Debate - Lukas H. Meyer & Pranay Sanklecha [paper]

1. The Legitimacy of Global Governance Institutions - Allen Buchanan & Robert O. Keohane [preview]
2. Institutionalising Global Demoi-cracy - Samantha Besson
3. The Responsibilities and Legitimacy of Economic International Institutions - Simon Caney
4. Do International Organisations Play Favourites? - Steven R. Ratner
5. 'Victors' Justice?' Historic Injustice and the Legitimacy of International Law - Daniel Butt
6. International Law and Global Justice - Peter Koller
7. Global Justice: Some Problems of a Cosmopolitan Account - Herlinde Pauer-Studer
8. The Responsibility to Protect Human Rights - David Miller [memo]
9. The Threat of Violence and of New Military Force as a Challenge to International Public Law - Matthias Lutz-Bachmann
10. Forcing a People to be Free - Arthur Applbaum.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Delahunty & Yoo on Kant, Habermas and Democratic Peace

Forthcoming in Chicago Journal of International Law:

"Kant, Habermas and Democratic Peace"

by Robert J. Delahunty & John Yoo

"Philosophers of great stature rarely write about international law or international relations. When they do, their writing, though often illuminating, tends to be brief, episodic and marginal to the rest of their work. Major exceptions include the towering eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinker Immanuel Kant and the contemporary German thinker Jürgen Habermas, much of whose highly influential work is devoted to international affairs. The relationship between Kant and Habermas is an extremely close one, and few later thinkers have done as much as Habermas to demonstrate the continuing importance and relevance of Kant’s political thought for the contemporary world.

Briefly stated, our argument is this: two characteristically Kantian theses need to be distinguished. The first thesis we call the idea of “world federalism,” in other words the creation of some form of global governance structures as a solution to the problem of war. The second thesis is what has come to be called the “democratic peace.” The first idea envisages the creation of a “cosmopolitan constitution,” or a set of legal and political arrangements on a global scale that would entrench peace between and within states, partly through extending world citizenship and human rights protections to all human beings. Kant also discovered what later expositors have come to call the “democratic peace thesis.” Supporters of the democratic peace thesis often believe that the surest and best method of securing global peace, protecting human rights and reducing the incidence of mass atrocities is to promote democracy successfully throughout the world.

Our core claim is this: Habermas conceives the “Kantian project” to be one of securing global peace and upholding basic human rights through strengthening and expanding supranational and transnational institutions. In substance, he is offering a kind of Kantian world federalism as the way forward for the global community of states. We consider that approach fundamentally mistaken. In our view, democracy-promotion is clearly the better path. It recognizes the necessity and desirability of a plurality of independent nation states. It is more protective of both the freedom of individuals and the cultural identities of peoples. It is far more likely to yield a durable global peace. And it can form the basis of a foreign policy that serves the national security interests of the US and its leading allies."

Robert J. Delahunty is Associate Professor at School of Law, University of St. Thomas (Minnesota).

John Yoo is Professor of Law at Berkeley School of Law, University of California, Berkeley.

Thanks to Lawrence Solum's Legal Theory Blog for the pointer.

The Frankfurt School in Exile

In Notre Dame Philosophical Review, Max Pensky reviews:

The Frankfurt School in Exile by Thomas Wheatland
(University of Minnesota Press, 2009), 415 pp.

Thomas Wheatland is assistant professor of German history at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. Read his article on the new book here.

See also Kevin MacDonald's review of Thomas Wheatland's book here.