The Golem in German Social Theory provides an innovative and bold interpretation of German social theory. Authors Yair and Soyer argue that German scholars have been continually preoccupied with ancient, religiously-based myths that criticize the ideals of the enlightenment, exemplified by the 16th-century narrative of the Golem rising over its master.
The Anarchist in the Library is the first guide to one of the most important cultural and economic battlegrounds of our increasingly plugged-in world. Siva Vaidhyanathan draws the struggle for information that will determine much of the culture and politics of the twenty-first century: anarchy or oligarchy, total freedom vs. complete control. His acclaimed book explores topics from unauthorized fan edits of Star Wars to terrorist organizations' reliance on “leaderless resistance,” from Napster to Total Information Awareness to flash mobs.
Author: Helmut K. Anheier
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2009-11-24
Genre: Social Science
Recently the topic of civil society has generated a wave of interest, and a wealth of new information. Until now no publication has attempted to organize and consolidate this knowledge. The International Encyclopedia of Civil Society fills this gap, establishing a common set of understandings and terminology, and an analytical starting point for future research. Global in scope and authoritative in content, the Encyclopedia offers succinct summaries of core concepts and theories; definitions of terms; biographical entries on important figures and organizational profiles. In addition, it serves as a reliable and up-to-date guide to additional sources of information. In sum, the Encyclopedia provides an overview of the contours of civil society, social capital, philanthropy and nonprofits across cultures and historical periods. For researchers in nonprofit and civil society studies, political science, economics, management and social enterprise, this is the most systematic appraisal of a rapidly growing field.
This book investigates the role of law in confronting major societal transformations embodied by the emergence of nanotechnologies. Taking the case of the European Union, it explores who the key decision-makers in the regulation of nanotechnologies are and how they take decisions. The questions are explored through two distinct case studies: the food and chemicals sectors. The book charts an incremental retreat of the European Union to its executive powers, including 'soft law' measures such as agencies' guidelines or implementing measures. This, the author argues, results in the Union's fundamental democratic control mechanisms, the EU legislature and the Court of Justice of the EU, being circumvented. The book recommends several immediate proposals to reform EU risk regulation, advocating a greater reliance on the European Parliament and outlining measures to increase the transparency of guidance drafting by EU agencies. This important work provides a timely examination of how emerging technologies pose both regulatory and democratic challenges.
Author: M. Struett
Release Date: 2008-05-12
Genre: Political Science
This book examines the political process that led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002. It accounts for the main features of the court, including its strong, independent prosecutor, by analyzing the discourse surrounding the ICC negotiations, and particularly highlights the role of human rights NGOs.
Publisher: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers
Release Date: 2013-01-22
This book examines hybridization as a defining phenomenon of regulatory frameworks in the transnational sphere. The contributions illustrate that globalization contributes to blurring the distinctions between national and international, public and private law; and that hybridization therefore necessitates a rethinking of fundamental legal concepts.
At a time when even the foundations and pre-eminence of the Western order are called into question by both the weaknesses of the transatlantic partnership and the spectacular rise of the Asia-Pacific region, suggesting a switch to a post-Atlantic order, the contributors to this volume provide specific answers to present-day interrogations pertaining to various processes of transformation. This book offers multidisciplinary perspectives on political, economic, social, technological and cultural dimensions of change, and proposes various possible responses to current global and regional challenges.
Author: Angélica Maria Bernal
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-06-30
Genre: Political Science
The foundings of constitutional democracies are commonly traced to singular moments. In turn, these moments of national origin are characterized as radical political innovations, notable for their civic unity, perfect legitimacy and binding authority. This common view is attractive as it suggests original founding events, actors, and ideals that can be evoked to legitimize state authority and unify citizens. Angélica Maria Bernal challenges this view of foundings, however, explaining that it is ultimately dangerous, misguided, and unsustainable. Beyond Origins argues that the ascription of a universal authority to original founding events is problematic because it limits our understanding of subsequent foundational changes, political transformation and innovation. This singular view also confounds our ability to account for all of the actors and venues through which foundation-building and constitutional transformation occurs. Because such understandings of national foundings obscure the many power struggles at work in them, these origin stories are troubling and unhelpful. In the wake of these limited views of founding, Bernal develops an alternate approach: "founding beyond origins." Rather than asserting that founding events are authoritatively settled and relegated to history, this framework redefines foundings as contentious, uncertain, and incomplete. Indeed, the book looks at a wide variety of contexts-early imperial Rome; revolutionary Haiti and France; the mid-20th century, racially-segregated United States; and contemporary Latin America-to reconsider political foundings as a contestatory and ongoing dimension of political life. Bridging classic and contemporary political and constitutional theory with historical readings, Bernal reorients approaches to foundings, arguing that it is only through context-specific and pragmatist understandings of political origins that we can realize the potential for radical democratic change.
In recent years, feminist theory has increasingly defined itself in opposition to universalism and to discourses of human rights. Rejecting the troubled legacies of Enlightenment thinking, feminists have questioned the very premises upon which the international human rights movement is based. Rather than abandoning human rights discourse, however, this book argues that feminism should reclaim the universal and reconstruct the theory and practice of human rights. Discourse ethics and its post-metaphysical defence of universalism is offered as a key to this process of reconstruction. The implications of discourse ethics and the possibility of reclaiming universalism are explored in the context of the reservations debate in international human rights law and further examined in debates on women's human rights arising in Ireland, India and Pakistan. Each of these states shares a common constitutional heritage and, in each, religious-cultural claims, intertwined with processes of nation-building, have constrained the pursuit of gender equality. Ultimately, this book argues in favour of a dual-track approach to cultural conflicts, combining legal regulation with an ongoing moral-political dialogue on the scope and content of human rights.
Author: Robert Cooter
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2000
Making, amending, and interpreting constitutions is a political game that can yield widespread suffering or secure a nation's liberty and prosperity. Given these high stakes, Robert Cooter argues that constitutional theory should trouble itself less with literary analysis and arguments over founders' intentions and focus much more on the real-world consequences of various constitutional provisions and choices. Pooling the best available theories from economics and political science, particularly those developed from game theory, Cooter's economic analysis of constitutions fundamentally recasts a field of growing interest and dramatic international importance. By uncovering the constitutional incentives that influence citizens, politicians, administrators, and judges, Cooter exposes fault lines in alternative forms of democracy: unitary versus federal states, deep administration versus many elections, parliamentary versus presidential systems, unicameral versus bicameral legislatures, common versus civil law, and liberty versus equality rights. Cooter applies an efficiency test to these alternatives, asking how far they satisfy the preferences of citizens for laws and public goods. To answer Cooter contrasts two types of democracy, which he defines as competitive government. The center of the political spectrum defeats the extremes in "median democracy," whereas representatives of all the citizens bargain over laws and public goods in "bargain democracy." Bargaining can realize all the gains from political trades, or bargaining can collapse into an unstable contest of redistribution. States plagued by instability and contests over redistribution should move towards median democracy by increasing transaction costs and reducing the power of the extremes. Specifically, promoting median versus bargain democracy involves promoting winner-take-all elections versus proportional representation, two parties versus multiple parties, referenda versus representative democracy, and special governments versus comprehensive governments. This innovative theory will have ramifications felt across national and disciplinary borders, and will be debated by a large audience, including the growing pool of economists interested in how law and politics shape economic policy, political scientists using game theory or specializing in constitutional law, and academic lawyers. The approach will also garner attention from students of political science, law, and economics, as well as policy makers working in and with new democracies where constitutions are being written and refined.
Author: Scott Welsh
Publisher: Lexington Books
Release Date: 2012-10-18
Genre: Political Science
Citizens, political theorists, and politicians alike insist that political or partisan motives get in the way of real democracy. Real democracy, we are convinced, is embodied by an ability to form collective judgments in the interest of the whole. The Rhetorical Surface of Democracy: How Deliberative Ideals Undermine Democratic Politics, by Scott Welsh, argues instead that it is our easy rejection of political motives, individual interests, and the rhetorical pursuit of power that poses the greatest danger to democracy. Our rejection of politics understood as a rhetorical contest for power is dangerous because democracy ultimately rests upon the perceived public legitimacy of public, political challenges to authority and the subsequent reconstitution of authority amid the impossibility of collective judgment. Hence, rather than searching for allegedly more authentic democracy, rooted in the pursuit of ever-illusive collective judgments, we must find ways to come to terms with the persistence of rhetorical, political contests for power as the essence of democracy itself. Welsh argues that the impossibility of any kind of public judgment is the fact that democracy must face. Given the impossibility of public judgment, rhetorical competitions for political power are not merely poor substitutes for an allegedly more authentic democratic practice, but constitute the essence of democracy itself. The Rhetorical Surface of Democracy is an iconoclastic investigation of the democratic process and public discourse.
Author: Mireille Hildebrandt
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Release Date: 2015-02-27
This timely book tells the story of the smart technologies that reconstruct our world, by provoking their most salient functionality: the prediction and preemption of our day-to-day activities, preferences, health and credit risks, criminal intent and
This book addresses issues on the nexus of freedom of and property in information, while acknowledging that both hiding and exposing information may affect our privacy. It inquires into the physics, the technologies, the business models, the governmental strategies and last but not least the legal frameworks concerning access, organisation and control of information. It debates whether it is in the very nature of information to be either free or monopolized, or both. Analysing upcoming power structures, new types of colonization and attempts to replace legal norms with techno-nudging, this book also presents the idea of an infra-ethics capable of pre-empting our pre-emption. It discusses the interrelations between open access, the hacker ethos, the personal data economy, and freedom of information, highlighting the ephemeral but pivotal role played by information in a data-driven society. This book is a must-read for those working on the contemporary dimensions of freedom of information, data protection, and intellectual property rights.
Author: S. M. Amadae
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2016-01-14
Genre: Political Science
Is capitalism inherently predatory? Must there be winners and losers? Is public interest outdated and free-riding rational? Is consumer choice the same as self-determination? Must bargainers abandon the no-harm principle? Prisoners of Reason recalls that classical liberal capitalism exalted the no-harm principle. Although imperfect and exclusionary, modern liberalism recognized individual human dignity alongside individuals' responsibility to respect others. Neoliberalism, by contrast, views life as ceaseless struggle. Agents vie for scarce resources in antagonistic competition in which every individual seeks dominance. This political theory is codified in non-cooperative game theory; the neoliberal citizen and consumer is the strategic rational actor. Rational choice justifies ends irrespective of means. Money becomes the medium of all value. Solidarity and good will are invalidated. Relationships are conducted on a quid pro quo basis. However, agents can freely opt out of this cynical race to the bottom by embracing a more expansive range of coherent action.