The Future of Democractic Sovereignty and Transnational Law

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dc.contributor.author BENHABIB, Seyla
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-27T15:10:24Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-27T15:10:24Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.issn 1830-7736
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1814/22565
dc.description The lecture was delivered on 16 May 2012. en
dc.description.abstract This essay examines the rise of legal cosmopolitanism in the period since the UDHR of 1948 as it gives rise to two very distinct sets of literature and preoccupations. I contrast the mainly negative conclusions drawn by conventional political theory about the possibility of reconciling democratic sovereignty with a transnational legal order to the utopianism of contemporary legal scholarship that projects varieties of global constitutionalism with or without the state. I argue that transnational human rights norms strengthen rather than weaken democratic sovereignty. Distinguishing between a ‘concept’ and a ‘conception’ of human rights, I claim that selfgovernment in a free public sphere and free civil society is essential to the concretization of the necessarily abstract norms of human rights. My thesis is that without the right to self-government, which is exercised through proper legal and political channels, we cannot justify the range of variation in the content of basic human rights as being legitimate. I name processes through which rights-norms are contextualized in polities ‘democratic iterations.’ The institutionalization of human rights norms through democratic iterations that permit their revision, rearticulation and contestation, both within judicial institutions and in the larger spheres of civil society, exhibits certain ‘epistemic virtues’ and shows, in Allen Buchanan’s words, ‘public practical reason’ at work. In conclusion, in addition to Buchanan’s thesis, I consider Anne-Marie Slaughter’s concept of ‘transjudicial communication,’ and Judith Resnik’s model of ‘law by affiliation’. These three models, like ‘democratic iterations,’ develop modalities of thinking beyond the binarism of the cosmopolitan versus the civic republican; democratic versus the international and transnational; democratic sovereignty versus human rights law. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.relation.ispartofseries EUI MWP LS en
dc.relation.ispartofseries 2012/04 en
dc.subject Legal cosmopolitanism en
dc.subject transnational legal order en
dc.subject human rights law en
dc.subject democratic iterations en
dc.subject democratic sovereignty en
dc.title The Future of Democractic Sovereignty and Transnational Law en
dc.type Other en


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