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All political argument employs political concepts. They provide the building blocks needed to construct a case for or against a given political position. Justifications of oppression in the name of liberty are no mere products of the liberal imagination, for there are notorious historical examples of their endorsement by authoritarian political leaders. This book explores two approaches to rights: the interest-based (IB) approach, and the obligation-based or Kantian view. Both are shown to offer coherent justifications that can avoid turning all political concerns into a matter of rights. The concept of social justice emerged in both at the start of the twentieth century, and justified institutions for the democratic modification for market outcomes, on utilitarian, maximin or common good grounds. The book explores whether people do in fact have good and justifiable reasons for complying with laws that go beyond mere fear of punishment, and, if so, whether they are bound or obligated by those reasons to comply. It discusses national ties and how they are supposed to act as glue that holds the state together in the eyes of its citizens. The book also explores the link between the weakening of states and this change in criminal policies, and outlines their implications for individual rights. Theorists have used the idea of social exclusion to advocate an approach to social justice that sees increased labour-market participation as the key to equal to citizenship. The contemporary understandings of the public-private distinction and feminist critiques of these are also examined.

Lennart J. Lundqvist

participation at all levels of governance. • Governance is ecologically rational in terms of individual autonomy to the extent that the choices of policy measures used in such governance are made with a view to safeguarding individual rights both now and in the future. In the following, I first of all analyse the formal regulations surrounding citizen access to public information in general, and on environment-related issues in particular, as well as the rules safeguarding individual rights and freedom of choice. Then I look into the points and channels of access and

in Sweden and ecological governance
Open Access (free)
Emilio Santoro

, and outlines their implications for individual rights. 1 Criminal policy in the era of globalisation Drawing on Max Weber’s well-known thesis, Ernest Gellner 5 argued that the executive and legislative power of modern states rested upon three types of sovereignty: military, economic and cultural. Historically, the sovereignty of states cannot be separated from their capacity not only

in Political concepts
Open Access (free)
The end of the dream
Simon Mabon

historical awareness through the curriculum,6 while another suggested that only 237 Conclusion 237 recently have Gulf states started to teach on ideas of nationalism.7 The focus upon community rights places greater emphasis upon the power of particular groups within society at the expense of individual rights, regardless of the text and indeed sentiment of constitutions or Basic Laws. Instead, groups derive power and legitimacy from history and culture that provide a reservoir of norms to facilitate the ordering of life, albeit with implications for spatial borders

in Houses built on sand
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

Frenchman, as the subject of a state, but not as ‘man’ in general. Socialist thinkers were also, at least initially, less than enthusiastic about rights, particularly individual rights. Like Burke they tended to emphasise group rights, in this case the rights of the working class or trade unions. The far left tended to dismiss the whole idea of individual rights as a disguise for the actual exploitation of the

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Continuities and contradictions underpinning Amitai Etzioni’s communitarian influence on New Labour
Simon Prideaux

individual rights. Rather, the opposite is believed to be true: ‘ strong rights presume strong responsibilities ’. 35 All-in-all, Etzioni’s is an argument that is convinced by the feeling that a commitment to the community can counter the pursuit of self-interest and unbridled greed. Commitment would not represent a life of self-sacrifice, altruism or austerity

in The Third Way and beyond
Open Access (free)
Jeremy Gould

DISCIPLINES of the region. This understanding of democratization relates specifically to a programmatic agenda of state reform promoted by transnational actors and enforced via conditions associated with foreign aid and, more recently, debt relief. Donor-endorsed versions of democratization claim to be grounded in a liberal notion of inalienable individual rights. This encompasses, among other things: political pluralism (the freedom to form political parties); free and regular elections; an unconstrained (and privately-owned) media; and the separation of powers among the

in Democratization through the looking-glass
Open Access (free)
The place of equal opportunity
Andrew Mason

pay lip-service to this ideal of equality of opportunity and seek to enshrine it in legislation and public policy, it is hard for them to carve out the right role for it within their theories. On the one hand, they want to show that a commitment to equality of opportunity is compatible with respecting personal liberty, especially in the face of those who insist that enforcing it threatens individual rights, including the

in Political concepts
Open Access (free)
Governmental power and authority in democratic ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

, government should steer with ‘minimum coercion and maximum consent’. But this balance is extremely precarious. Valuing democracy and individual autonomy very highly might compromise the integrity of the commons, and the opposite may lead to losses of democratic legitimacy. As I have argued elsewhere, the ecological state should appear as ‘a green fist in a velvet glove’ (Lundqvist 2001b). What, then, are the conclusions from the Swedish experience to date? The traditionally generous formal ‘enclosures’ around individual autonomy and individual rights have actually been

in Sweden and ecological governance
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

this has the effect of benefiting society as a whole. In a famous passage Mill made the case for the defence of individual rights: The only purpose for which power can be rightly exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be

in Understanding political ideas and movements