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.
cosmopolitan the existing
social arrangements have no special status as the source of our value. The
type of universal principles required is generated by three different
sources of cosmopolitanism: Kantianism, utilitarianism and Marxism. Although
utilitarianism is an entirely different moral theory from that of Kant, it
is nevertheless cosmopolitan. Jeremy Bentham is, of course, the classic
utilitarian. His theory is clearly
Office. 1 Utilitarianism mediated by
Christian philanthropic sentiment and fears of the consequences of the
French Revolution inspired him to write a variety of tracts on
ale-houses, education and diets for the poor, the practical application
of which was realized in the organization of soup kitchens to alleviate
destitute silk weavers in Shoreditch, and in the promotion of the
Society for Bettering the
This chapter considers the identity crisis of the 1970s–early 1980s,
experienced by decorative artists in the state-sponsored infrastructure
including factories, workshops and exhibitions. It shows the joint attempt
of artists and critics to renegotiate the position of decorative art
vis-à-vis industrial design, industrial production, craft and easel art. The
proposed solution – the creation of a vigorous interdisciplinary production
culture based on mutual respect between artists, engineers, technicians and
administrators – proved insufficient to satisfy the decorative artists’
creative and critical urges. Even factory-employed artists tended to
dissociate themselves from the state-run campaign to improve consumer
products and living standards, instead promoting anti-utilitarianism, and
focusing on consumers’ ‘spiritual needs’. I illustrate this tendency using
the case of the non-pottery ceramic group One Composition, which was active
in Leningrad from 1977 to 1986 and proposed the notion of ‘image-ceramics’
as opposed to pottery.
has been the normative view. John Plamenatz defined this as
‘systematic thinking about the purposes of government’. 1 This is not conceived as
a descriptive exercise, qua political science. It seeks to evaluate
rather than explain . However, this conception of theory embodies a
number of sub-approaches. The main normative foundational contenders are
utilitarianism, consequentialism, Aristotelianism and deontology –
criticise classical utilitarianism, which is taken to allot special
importance to the latter kind of bundle, in the interest of maximising
overall desire-satisfaction, regardless of whose desires they happen to
There is both an implausibility and an incompleteness in the
doctrine of the distinctness of persons. 23 The implausibility arises from
neglecting the complexity of individuals’ desires. They can reflect on
power in Britain.
a further moral basis for liberalism in the early nineteenth century. As
advanced by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill, Utilitarianism argued that reason
could be used to discover human rights and organise human institutions.
Utilitarianism measured the rightness of any act by the degree to which it
contributed to happiness. People sought to maximise pleasure and minimise
A. Ellis, ‘Utilitarianism and International
Ethics’, in Nardin and Mapel (eds), Traditions of International
Ethics , 166.
M. Levin, J. S. Mill on Civilization and Barbarism
(London: Routledge, 2004), 49.
J. S. Mill, ‘The Spanish Question’, London
and Westminster Review , 5 (July 1837), 165–94. We thank Georgios
government. A ‘good’ government will, in
the words of Jeremy Bentham, pursue ‘the greatest happiness of the
greatest number’. This principle is called utilitarianism .
A political philosophy that sees the highest political goal as promoting
the ‘greatest happiness of the greatest number’.
Questions necessarily arise. Are obligations to
University of California Press, 2002).
Cohen, ‘Democracy and Liberty’, p.
Cohen, ‘Democracy and Liberty’, pp.
See T. Scanlon ‘Contractualism and
Utilitarianism’, in B. Williams and A