Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Book: "On Global Justice" by Mathias Risse

On Global Justice

by Mathias Risse

(Princeton University Press, 2012)



Debates about global justice have traditionally fallen into two camps. Statists believe that principles of justice can only be held among those who share a state. Those who fall outside this realm are merely owed charity. Cosmopolitans, on the other hand, believe that justice applies equally among all human beings. On Global Justice shifts the terms of this debate and shows how both views are unsatisfactory. Stressing humanity's collective ownership of the earth, Mathias Risse offers a new theory of global distributive justice - what he calls pluralist internationalism - where in different contexts, different principles of justice apply.

Contents [preview]

Part 1: Shared Citizenship and Common Humanity

1: The Grounds of Justice [pdf]
2: "Un Pouvoir Ordinaire": Shared Membership in a State as a Ground of Justice
3: Internationalism versus Statism and Globalism: Contemporary Debates
4: What Follows from Our Common Humanity? The Institutional Stance, Human Rights, and Nonrelationism

Part 2: Common Ownership of the Earth

5: Hugo Grotius Revisited: Collective Ownership of the Earth and Global Public Reason
6: "Our Sole Habitation": A Contemporary Approach to Collective Ownership of the Earth
7: Toward a Contingent Derivation of Human Rights
8: Proportionate Use: Immigration and Original Ownership of the Earth
9: "But the Earth Abideth For Ever": Obligations to Future Generations
10: Climate Change and Ownership of the Atmosphere

Part 3: International Political and Economic Structures

11: Human Rights as Membership Rights in the Global Order [paper]
12: Arguing for Human Rights: Essential Pharmaceuticals
13: Arguing for Human Rights: Labor Rights as Human Rights
14: Justice and Trade

Part 4: Global Justice and Institutions

15: The Way We Live Now
16: "Imagine There's No Countries": A Reply to John Lennon [paper]
17: Justice and Accountability: The State
18: Justice and Accountability: The World Trade Organization

Mathias Risse is Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Many of Mathias Risse's papers are available here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Claus Offe on the Theodor Eschenburg Prize

On September 27, 2012, Professor Claus Offe received the Theodor Eschenburg Prize from the German Association of Political Science.

Here is Offe's acceptance speech: "Rede anlässlich der Annahme des DVPW-Preises" [pdf]

Claus Offe teaches Political Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin.

See also my post on the symposium on Claus Offe in March 2012, with lectures by Jürgen Habermas, Stephen Holmes, Ulrich K. Preuss, Philippe Schmitter, and Wolfgang Streeck.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Erik O. Eriksen on Habermas's book on Europe

At "Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews", Erik O. Eriksen reviews "The Crisis of the European Union" (Polity Press, 2012) by Jürgen Habermas:

Review of "The Crisis of the European Union"

"In the present book Jürgen Habermas reconstructs the basis for the legitimacy of a democratic European Union (EU), an entity that while not a state is still more than an international organization. The EU does not fit with the conventional categories of public and international law. The immediate backdrop for the book is the financial crisis and how the "troika" -- the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) -- has handled the problems of the Eurozone. In its struggle with global financial markets the EU has lapsed into old-fashioned power politics and dictated conditions for the insolvent members of the zone. An appendix reprints some of Habermas' recent political interventions, where he accuses Europe's political leaders of inapt action and putting the whole integration project at risk."

Erik O. Eriksen is Professor of Political Science at Oslo University and Director of ARENA Centre for European Studies. He is co-author with Jarle Weigard of "Understanding Habermas: Communicative Action and Deliberative Democracy" (Continuum, 2003), and author of "The Unfinished Democratization of Europe" (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Habermas's talk at "Deutscher Juristentag" 2012

Jürgen Habermas's talk at the 69th "Deutscher Juristentag" is published in "Süddeutsche Zeitung", September 22, 2012:

"Heraus aus dem Teufelskreis" 
[not yet available online]

"Heute stellen uns ökonomische Zwänge vor die Alternative, entweder mit der Preisgabe der gemeinsamen Währung das Nachkriegsprojekt der europäischen Einigung irreparabel zu beschädigen, oder die Politische Union – zunächst in der Euro-Zone – soweit zu vertiefen, dass Transfers über nationale Grenzen hinweg demokratisch legitimiert werden können. Man kann das eine nicht vermeiden, ohne das andere zu wollen." 

At the bi-annual conference - arranged by the Association of German Jurists - Jürgen Habermas discussed the EU crisis with Luc Frieden (Minister of Finance, Luxembourg), Vassilios Skouris (President of the European Court of Justice), and Andreas Voßkuhle (President of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany). See the programme here (pdf).

See reports from the conference:
* "Badische Zeitung
* "Die Tageszeitung"
* "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"
* "Die Welt"

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bruce Robbins on Habermas's Book on the EU Crisis

In "Los Angeles Review of Books" (September 20, 2012), Bruce Robbins reviews "The Crisis of the European Union" (Polity Press, 2012) by Jürgen Habermas:

"Europe on the Brink: Habermas and the Currency Crisis"

For Habermas, “Europe” is a good idea that has fallen into the wrong hands. It’s time for the people to take the idea back from the bankers. The politics that matters now is less a demand for more democracy within the nation, where it takes familiar forms, than a demand for democracy beyond the nation, where it remains to be invented.  
This sounds pretty good. But is Habermas really ready to push for it? When he speaks of “politics,” what he often seems to mean is laws. A law is a principle that’s been agreed on. Politics aims at agreement and sometimes gets there, but at its heart is its “in the meanwhile”: an ongoing process of disagreement.
You can see the virtues of Habermas’s respect for law in his famous slogan “constitutional patriotism.” Anti-cosmopolitans argue that real solidarity will never emerge except from ethnic, religious, and national sameness. Habermas insists that people don’t need as much sameness as they think in order to feel solidarity with each other. Beyond ethnic or religious or national identity (the sort of thing that leads to intolerance and war), powerful loyalties can also get attached to the constitution as a guarantee of the equal rights of all. But Habermas’s faith in law has a disadvantage, and it’s a big one. It discourages political struggle based on fundamental differences of perspective and interest. And it’s only serious, long-term political struggle of this sort that could ever make transnational economic solidarity into a reality.

Bruce Robbins is Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University.

See my previous posts on Jürgen Habermas's book here (German edition), here (English edition), and here (reviews).

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Book: Political Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century

Political Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century
Essential Essays

ed. by Steven M. Cahn & Robert B. Talisse

(Westview Press, September 2012)

304 pages


Moving beyond the work of Rawls and his critics, this concise collection contains critical essays in contemporary political philosophy. All have been chosen for their importance and accessibility, and some have been edited by their authors for inclusion in this work. The book covers five main topics: equality, justice, liberty, democracy, and human rights. To assist readers, the editors have also provided section introduction and study questions as well as an overall introduction explaining the background to contemporary work in political philosophy. Beginning where most other anthologies in political philosophy conclude, this book can be used alone or in conjunction with any collection of historical sources.


I. Equality
1. Ronald Dworkin, “Equality”
2. Elizabeth Anderson, “Democratic Equality”
3. Kok Chor Tan, “A Defense of Luck Egalitarianism" [preview]

II. Justice
4. G. A. Cohen “Rescuing Justice and Equality”
5. David Miller, “Justice and Boundaries” [abstract]
6. Amartya Sen, “Capabilities and Resources”

III. Liberty
7. Philip Pettit, “The Instability of Freedom as Non-Interference
8. John Christman, “Can Positive Freedom be Saved”
9. Ian Carter, “The Myth of ‘Merely Formal Freedom’” [preview]

IV. Democracy
10. Richard Arneson, “Democracy is not Intrinsically Just” [pdf]
11. Thomas Christiano, “The Authority of Democracy” [pdf]
12. Joshua Cohen, “Reflections on Deliberative Democracy”

V. Human Rights
13. Onora O’Neill “The Dark Side of Human Rights” [pdf]
14. Thomas Pogge, “World Poverty and Human Rights”
15. Martha Nussbaum, “Capabilities and Social Justice” [abstract]

Steven M. Cahn is Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Robert B. Talisse is Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Habermas receives the Heinrich Heine Prize

Jürgen Habermas receives the Heine Prize of the city Düsseldorf.

The honor is awarded to personalities who through their work in the spirit of Heinrich Heine's emphasis on the basic rights of man, advance social and political progress, mutual understanding of the peoples, or spread the idea that all people belong to the same group: mankind.

See the announcement here.

"Der Heine-Preis der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf 2012 wird an Jürgen Habermas verliehen, als einen der weltweit bedeutendsten Denker der Gegenwart, für sein Lebenswerk, das durch freiheitliche Ideen der Aufklärung, seinen unermüdlichen Einsatz für ein demokratisch verfasstes Deutschland sowie seine streitbaren Beiträge zu den gesellschaftspolitischen Debatten Europas geprägt ist. Jürgen Habermas steht mit seinem kritischen Werk überzeugend in der Tradition des Schriftstellers und Intellektuellen Heinrich Heine."

Past prize winners include Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (1983), Marion Gräfin Dönhoff (1988), Max Frisch (1989), Richard von Weizsäcker (1991), Wolf Biermann (1993), Wladyslaw Bartoszewski (1996), Hans Magnus Enzensberger (1998),  Amos Oz (2008) and Simone Veil (2010).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thomas Pogge wins Gregory Kavka Prize

Professor Thomas Pogge's paper, “Are We Violating the Human Rights of the World’s Poor?" [pdf] published in "Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal" Vol. 14, no. 2 (2011) has won the 2013 Gregory Kavka Prize in political philosophy.

Thomas Pogge is Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs, Yale University. He is the author of "John Rawls: His Life and Theory of Justice" (Oxford University Press, 2007), "World Poverty and Human Rights" (Polity Press, 2008, 2nd, expanded edition) and "Politics as Usual: What Lies Behind The Pro-Poor Rhetoric" (Polity Press, 2010).

New Book: "The I in We" by Axel Honneth

The I in We: Studies in the Theory of Recognition

by Axel Honneth

(Polity, September 2012)

240 pages



In this volume Axel Honneth deepens and develops his highly influential theory of recognition, showing how it enables us both to rethink the concept of justice and to offer a compelling account of the relationship between social reproduction and individual identity formation.
Drawing on his reassessment of Hegel’s practical philosophy, Honneth argues that our conception of social justice should be redirected from a preoccupation with the principles of distributing goods to a focus on the measures for creating symmetical relations of recognition. This theoretical reorientation has far-reaching implications for the theory of justice, as it obliges this theory to engage directly with problems concerning the organization of work and with the ideologies that stabilize relations of domination.
In the final part of this volume Honneth shows how the theory of recognition provides a fruitful and illuminating way of exploring the relation between social reproduction and identity formation. Rather than seeing groups as regressive social forms that threaten the autonomy of the individual, Honneth argues that the ‘I’ is dependent on forms of social recognition embodied in groups, since neither self-respect nor self-esteem can be maintained without the supportive experience of practising shared values in the group.



I. Hegelian Roots
1. From Desire to Recognition: Hegel's Grounding of Self-Consciousness
2. The Realm of Actualized Freedom: Hegel's Notion of a "Philosophy of Right"

II. Systematic Consequences
3. The Fabric of Justice: On the Limits of Contemporary Proceduralism
4. Labour and Recognition: A Redefinition
5. Recognition as Ideology: The Connection between Morality and Power
6. Dissolutions of the Social: The Social Theory of Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot [preview]
7. Philosophy as Social Research: David Miller's Theory of Justice

III. Social and Theoretical Applications
8. Recognition between States: On the Moral Substrate of International Relations
9. Organized Self-Realisation: Paradoxes of Individualisation
10. Paradoxes of Capitalist Modernisation: A Research Programme (with Martin Hartmann) [preview]

IV. Psychoanalytical Ramifications
11. The Work of Negativity: A Recognition-Theoretical  Revision of Psychoanalysis [abstract]
12. The I in the We: Recognition as a Driving Force of Group Formation
13. Facets of the Presocial Self: A Rejoinder to Joel Whitebook
14. Disempowering Reality: Secular Forms of Consolation

Axel Honneth is Professor of Social Philosophy at Goethe University and Director of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main.

The German edition:
"Das Ich im Wir. Studien zur Anerkennungstheorie" (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2010).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ronald Dworkin receives the Balzan Prize 2012

The Balzan prizewinners 2012 were announced today.

Among the four prizewinners is Professor Ronald Dworkin at New York University.

Ronald Dworkin receives the award for "his fundamental contributions to Jurisprudence, characterized by outstanding originality and clarity of thought in a continuing and fruitful interaction with ethical and political theories and with legal practices."

The International Balzan Prize Foundation’s aim is to promote culture, the sciences and the most meritorious initiatives in the cause of humanity, peace and brotherhood among peoples throughout the world.

The awards ceremony takes place in Rome in November.

See the press release here.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Habermas in Hessen: More Europe, More Democracy

Yesterday Jürgen Habermas received the Georg-August-Zinn Prize awarded by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Hessen. 

Habermas's acceptance speech is published in "Die Zeit" (September 6, 2012):

"Politik und Erpressung"
[now available online]

"Ich fürchte freilich, dass wir genau diesen Preis für eine technokratische Lösung der Krise entrichten sollen. Die Regierungen werden die nötigen Befugnisse auf europäischer Ebene konzentrieren, um »die Märkte« zu befriedigen; aber gleichzeitig wollen sie versuchen, die wahre Bedeutung dieses Integrationsschrittes vor dem heimischen Wählerpublikum herunterzuspielen, weil sie für die Vertiefung der Politischen Union nicht einmal mehr in den Ländern Kerneuropas mit der bisher üblichen passiven Folgebereitschaft rechnen dürfen. Nach diesem Szenario befinden wir uns auf dem postdemokratischen Wege zu einem marktkonformen, das heißt auf Finanzmarktimperative zugeschnittenen Exekutivföderalismus. Dabei würde nicht nur die Demokratie auf der Strecke bleiben; wir würden gleichzeitig die Chance verspielen, die Finanzmärkte, wenn auch zunächst nur innerhalb eines Wirtschaftsraums kontinentalen Ausmaßes, zu regulieren. Eine europäische Exekutive, die sich gegenüber einer demokratisch mobilisierbaren Wählerschaft voll ends verselbstständigt, verliert jedes Motiv und auch die Kraft zum Gegensteuern.
Gewiss gibt es für das Zögern von Regierungen und Parteien gute Gründe. Bisher ist das europäische Projekt über die Köpfe der Bevölkerungen hinweg mehr oder weniger von den politischen Eliten allein vorangetrieben worden. Und die Bürger waren’s zufrieden, solange die EU eine Gewinngemeinschaft war. Nun aber hat die Euro-Krise, die sich auf die nationalen Wirtschaften verschieden auswirkt und aus der Sicht nationaler Öffentlichkeiten polarisierend wahrgenommen wird, überall den euroskeptischen Rechtspopulismus verstärkt. Die Umfragen belegen, dass heute Mehrheiten für eine fällige Vertragsänderung nicht leicht zu gewinnen sind. Doch bevor wir diese Stimmungslagen resignativ als Gegebenheiten hinnehmen, sollten wir uns zunächst an die normative Betrachtungsweise erinnern, wonach politische Wahlen und Abstimmungen etwas anderes bedeuten als demoskopische Umfragen. Wahlen und Abstimmungen sollen nicht nur ein Spektrum bestehender Vorlieben abbilden, sondern Urteile über die Programme und die Personen, die zur Wahl stehen. Sie dürfen den Willen des Volkes nicht unreflektiert ausdrücken, denn sie haben auch einen kognitiven Sinn. Die Regierung muss auf der Grundlage solcher Richtungsentscheidungen drängende Probleme bearbeiten. In einer Demokratie genügen politische Wahlen nicht ihrer systemischen Bestimmung, wenn sie bloß die Verteilung von Präferenzen und Vorurteilen registrieren. Wählervoten erlangen das institutionelle Gewicht von staatsbürgerlichen Entscheidungen eines Mitgesetzgebers erst dadurch, dass sie aus einem öffentlichen Prozess der Meinungs- und Willensbildung hervorgehen, wobei dieser Prozess vom öffentlichen Für und Wider frei flottierender Meinungen, Argumente und Stellungnahmen gesteuert wird. Die Meinungen der Bürger sollen sich aus der dissonanten Springflut von Beiträgen im Lichte eines öffentlich artikulierten Meinungsaustausches erst herausbilden."

See the announcement on SPD's website here.

See my previous post on the Georg-August-Zinn Prize here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Martin Schulz on Habermas and the Euro Crisis

"Der Spiegel" (September 3, 2012) features an interview with Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, in which he criticizes Jürgen Habermas's appeal for a new European policy:

Call for Political Union Now is 'Dramatic Mistake'


Spiegel: Mr. President, "Frankfurt School" philosopher Jürgen Habermas has said there are only two possible strategies for Europe: a return to national currencies, or a political union. Is he correct?

Schulz: Yes, we should have introduced a political union together with the euro. That's something we failed to do, and need to catch up on. But that doesn't help us at the moment.

Spiegel: Why not?

Schulz: There's no point whining about missed opportunities. What we need right now is to act quickly and in the short term. I can't accept us getting lost in theoretical debate in the current situation. A restructuring of the European Union isn't pressing at the moment -- what we need instead is to solve very difficult problems in a short space of time.

Spiegel: You mean the crisis in southern European countries?

Schulz: Yes. We need economic growth in Europe and we need to find a solution for the excessive interest rates that are making it difficult for many countries to get their own debt under control. That is the crucial task for the coming months.

Spiegel: Germany is more interested in discussing the introduction of a political union.

Schulz: That's a dramatic mistake. As if a structural change would solve these short-term problems. That's the line of argument from the German chancellor, from the finance minister …

Spiegel: … and from the entire leadership of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Schulz: From everyone in national-level politics, in fact, and not only in Germany. To me it seems akin to sitting in an airplane that's experiencing serious turbulence, while in the cockpit, they're debating improvements to the engines. Of course we're also dealing with a systemic political crisis, but that doesn't help us with the turbulence we're experiencing at the moment: no economic growth in Greece and interest rate speculation against Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

"Nachmetaphysisches Denken II" - a new book by Habermas

Nachmetaphysisches Denken II
Aufsätze und Repliken

by Jürgen Habermas

(Suhrkamp Verlag, October 2012)



"Im ersten Teil des Buches geht es um den Perspektivenwechsel von metaphysischen Weltbildern zur Lebenswelt. Letztere analysiert Habermas als »Raum der Gründe« – auch dort, wo die Sprache (noch) nicht regiert, etwa in der gestischen Kommunikation und im Ritus. Im zweiten Teil steht das spannungsreiche Verhältnis von Religion und nachmetaphysischem Denken im Vordergrund. Habermas schließt hier unmittelbar an seine weitsichtige Bemerkung von 1988 an, wonach die »Philosophie auch in ihrer nachmetaphysischen Gestalt Religion weder ersetzen noch verdrängen« kann, und erkundet etwa das neue Interesse der Philosophie an der Religion. Den Abschluss bilden Texte über die Rolle der Religion im politischen Kontext einer postsäkularen, liberalen Gesellschaft."


Versprachlichung des Sakralen [pdf]

I: Die Lebenswelt als Raum der Gründe

1. Von den Weltbildern zur Lebenswelt (2008) [video?]
2. Die Lebenswelt als Raum symbolisch verkörperter Gründe (2011) [video]
3. Eine Hypothese zum gattungsgeschichtlichen Sinn des Ritus (2011) [video in English]

II: Nachmetaphysisches Denken

4. Ein neues Interesse der Philosophie an Religion (2009) [English]
5. Religion und nachmetaphysisches Denken (2009)
6. Ein Symposion über Glauben und Wissen (2005)

III: Politik und Religion

7. »Das Politische« – Der vernünftige Sinn eines zweifelhaften Erbstücks der Politischen Theologie (2009) [audio in English]
8. Das »gute Leben« eine »abscheuliche Phrase« (2010)
9. Rawls’ Politischer Liberalismus (2011)
10. Religion in der Öffentlichkeit der »postsäkularen« Gesellschaft (2008)


Some of the essays are already available in German or in English:

(1): In German: Jürgen Habermas - "Philosophische Texte bd. 5" (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2009), pp. 203-270. Revised version in Carl Friedrich Gethmann (ed.) - "Lebenswelt und Wisseschaft" (Felix Meiner, 2011), pp. 63-88.

(4): In German: "Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie" vol. 58 (2010), no. 1, pp. 3-16. And in English: the website "The Immanent Flame" February 2010.

(6): In German: Rudolf Langthaler & Herta Nagl-Docekal (eds.) - "Glauben und Wissen. Ein Symposium mit Jürgen Habermas" (Akademie Verlag, 2006) pp. 366-414.

(7): In English: Eduardo Mendieta & Jonathan VanAntwerpen (eds.) - "The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere" (Columbia University Press, 2011) pp. 15-33. And in German: Eduardo Mendieta & Jonathan VanAntwerpen (eds.) - "Religion und Öffentlichkeit" (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2012) pp. 28-52.

(8): In English: "European Journal of Philosophy" vol. 18 no. 3 (2010) pp. 443-453. And in German in John Rawls - "Über Sünde, Glaube und Religion" (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2010). Also in "Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie" vol. 58 no. 5 (2010).

(9): In English: James Gordon Finlayson & Fabian Freyenhagen (eds.) - "Habermas and Rawls: Disputing the Political" (Routledge, 2011), pp. 283-304.

(10): In German: "Die Dialektik der Säkularisierung", Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, 2008 no. 4, pp. 33-46.

Essay (5) will be published in English in Craig Calhoun, Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan VanAntwerpen (eds.) - "Habermas and Religion" (Polity Press, forthcoming 2012).