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From Bilateralism to Community InterestEssays in Honour of Bruno Simma$
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Ulrich Fastenrath, Rudolf Geiger, Daniel-Erasmus Khan, Andreas Paulus, Sabine von Schorlemer, and Christoph Vedder

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588817

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588817.001.0001

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Human Rights and Democracy: Is There a Place for Actual People(s)?

Human Rights and Democracy: Is There a Place for Actual People(s)?

Chapter:
(p.488) Human Rights and Democracy: Is There a Place for Actual People(s)?
Source:
From Bilateralism to Community Interest
Author(s):

Friedrich Kratochwil (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588817.003.0033

This chapter provides some critical reflections on law and politics in the era of globalization. The argument is presented in three steps. First, the chapter develops a conception of politics that is independent of the State and its institutions. Secondly, it inquires into the possibilities of democratic participation in a globalizing world. Here the criterion that ‘what concerns all has to be decided by all’ will serve as foil. This then provides the background for the discussion which takes up the issue of legitimization by relying on the universal value of human dignity as the main source, after the concrete people(s) have largely disappeared from the discourse together with the State and its autonomy. It is argued that this reliance on the ‘universality’ of human dignity as the key value, cleansed from all political and historical contingencies, encourages imperialism and the rule by experts or ‘professionals’, both of which have deleterious effects on law and democratic politics.

Keywords:   law, democratic politics, globalization, human dignity, imperialism

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