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.
Why does the normative void matter? In the past, many states abided by international law as
much for fearofpunishment (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
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 fearofpunishment, 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:
Socrates had to decide whether to
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.
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 fearofpunishment.
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
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