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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.

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Introduction 1 The public–private distinction is one of the ‘grand dichotomies’ of western thought. 2 The dichotomy has a complex history, which has generated numerous formulations of the opposition between public and private, most of which still inform contemporary understandings of the terms. In this context, subjecting the public–private dichotomy to critique, as many feminists have done

in Political concepts
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public and private spheres of social life. Most, but not all, political writers had focused almost exclusively on the public realm of government, law, economics, the state, and had more or less assumed that the relationship between men and women (especially the married relationship) was essentially a private matter, outside the scope of politics. Feminists boldly asserted that there was no such public–private

in Understanding political ideas and movements

political commitment to feminist goals. As Julie Connolly ( 2010 ) points out, although Honneth asserts the need for love-based recognition, emerging out of relations of nurturance, he also argues that relations encompassed by this category are ‘pre-political’. This serves to reinforce the public–private distinction, and therefore to marginalize feminist concerns with how power functions through

in Recognition and Global Politics

practices make it easier to accommodate the public/private distinction. In other words, the ‘formal equality’ model tends to be intolerant toward ethical-cultural forms of life that require a certain kind of public presence that others either do not require, or – as is most often the case – that require a public presence that differs from traditional and hitherto dominant cultural forms. Thus, on the ‘qualitative equality’ model, persons respect each other as political equals with distinct ethicalcultural identities that must be tolerated as (a) especially important for a

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies
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Civil rites of passage

happened’ when framed by supposedly unemotional, fair-minded white professionals – like Huckaby, newspaper publisher Hazel Brannon Smith, and the student based on novelist Ann Rivers Siddons in Heart of Dixie . 7 Synoptic cinema: the public/private distinction Civil rights cinema does not sit comfortably within theories of genrification. For Rick Altman, genrification always

in Memory and popular film
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protest evoked only to be dismissed. The King’s stammering speaks the burden of royalty, while also providing a vehicle for exploring the reterritorialisation of the public/private distinction in the wake of the new mass media. His final broadcast unites the nation, reinvigorating the national body ailing from his brother’s abdication, triumphantly readying it for war. Both films climax with their monarchs’ speeches broadcast to

in The British monarchy on screen
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which manipulates judgement in a manner that evidently distorts cultural communication, and this returns the issue to the public side of the dichotomy. Rorty’s way of making the public/private distinction, then, can privatise art to too great an extent and thus ignore some of more productive resources in Adorno’s con- Conclusion 327 ception. It is not that Rorty would deny that so much contemporary culture really is industrially produced trash, but his manner of making the distinction can lead, by giving up any idea that aesthetic judgement might still sustain the

in Aesthetics and subjectivity