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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.

Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

’. Why does the normative void matter? In the past, many states abided by international law as much for fear of punishment (sanctions, diplomatic isolation, denial of favourable terms of trade) as because of a commitment to the moral vision the law embodied. We can see this is now missing in the case of human rights and, given the liberal core that underlies humanitarian (i.e. neutral) space, in humanitarian action as well. Human rights and humanitarianism lack the logic that enforces most effective international norms, that we will not kill or

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Rex Martin

in their own country. The issue I want to discuss in this chapter is 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. 1 One main argument for a duty to obey the law: consent Socrates had to decide whether to

in Political concepts

Colonial powers and Ethiopian frontiers 1880–1884 is the fourth volume of Acta Aethiopica, a series that presents original Ethiopian documents of nineteenth-century Ethiopian history with English translations and scholarly notes. The documents have been collected from dozens of archives in Africa and Europe to recover and present the Ethiopian voice in the history of Ethiopia in the nineteenth century. The present book, the first Acta Aethiopica volume to appear from Lund University Press, deals with how Ethiopian rulers related to colonial powers in their attempts to open Ethiopia for trade and technological development while preserving the integrity and independence of their country. In addition to the correspondence and treatises with the rulers and representatives of Italy, Egypt and Great Britain, the volume also presents letters dealing with ecclesiastical issues, including the Ethiopian community in Jerusalem.

Open Access (free)
Sven Rubenson
Amsalu Aklilu
Shiferaw Bekele
, and
Samuel Shiferaw 

Majesty the King of Kings to acquire bishops for Ethiopia. 5. His Majesty, the King of Kings, and the khedive of Egypt have agreed to extradite criminals who flee from the one realm to the other for fear of punishment. 6. If conflict arises between the King of Kings of Ethiopia and the khedive of Egypt after the signing of this treaty, they have agreed to inform and appeal to the queen of England. 7. This paper bearing the treaty shall be returned speedily after having been seen and sealed by the queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and empress of

in Colonial Powers and Ethiopian Frontiers 1880–1884
Open Access (free)
Self-defence, honour and philosophical suicide
Elwin Hofman

and certain death would choose crime; reasonable people who faced a choice between committing a capital crime and something worse than death, like dishonour, would also choose to commit the crime. The ultimate challenge to reasonable justice, then, was suicide. ‘The laws are obeyed through fear of punishment, but death destroys all sensibility’, Beccaria wrote. ‘What motive then can restrain the desperate hand of suicide?’ 103 Beccaria and most other penal reformers in late eighteenth-century Europe argued against punishing suicides. This was not, however

in Trials of the self