Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review of Rainer Forst's "The Right to Justification"

At "Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews", Eva Erman reviews "The Right to Justification: Elements of a Constructivist Theory of Justice" (Columbia University Press, 2011) by Rainer Forst:

Review of "The Right to Justification"

A strength of Forst's view vis-à-vis Habermas's discourse theory of democracy is that he can give us a justificatory story about the emergence of the legal form (which Habermas simply presumes as an historical fact and couples together with the discourse principle to get a criterion of democratic legitimacy). At the same time, to account for political autonomy - which is at the center of the political and exercised only jointly with others as members of a political community, according to Forst - he would have to substantiate a criterion of legitimacy from normative sources within the political that are not reducible to morality (even if the criterion is ultimately grounded in a moral right to justification). It is this autonomy of the political that Habermas attempts to hold on to.

Eva Erman is Associate Professor at the Department of Government, University of Uppsala, Sweden. She is the author of "Human Rights and Democracy: Discourse Theory and Human Rights Institutions" (Ashgate, 2005) and co-author (with A. Uhlin) of "Legitimacy Beyond the State?" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

See my post on Rainer Forst's book here (with links to some of his papers).

(Thanks to Gary E. Davis for the pointer!)

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