sexta-feira, 24 de agosto de 2012

Justiça como "não-dominação"

Working paper de Ian Shapiro (Yale) sobre o conceito de justiça como não-dominação com  uma resposta de David Dyzenhaus. O professor Shapiro ministra um curso badalado de teoria política que atualmente encontra-se no Yale Open Courses: The Moral Foundations of Politics

Ian Shapiro - On non-domination

David Dyzenhaus - Response to Ian Shapiro

My aim here is to defend a view of non-domination as providing a better basis for justice than the going alternatives. I differentiate it from two kinds of alternatives: those whose proponents reject my claim that non-domination is the bedrock of justice and those who agree with me but understand non-domination differently than I do.

The first group divides into partisans of equality, on the one hand, and of freedom, on the other. Their arguments concern me in the first half of the essay. Then I turn to conceptions of non-domination put forward by Jürgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, Michael Walzer, Quentin Skinner, and Philip Pettit. There is considerable overlap among these various views and between them and mine but there are also notable disagreements. I spell out what is at stake in the alternative formulations, indicating why my own conception, rooted in power-based resourcism, is preferable.

sábado, 18 de agosto de 2012

Direito de resistência?

Tom Gisnburg, Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez e Mila Veersteeg publicaram na SSRN um artigo sobre direito de resistência e legitimidade política global, a partir das experiências revolucionárias árabes e persa. Existiria um direito universal de resistência contra um governo tirânico?

Ginsburg, Lansberg-Rodriguez e Veersteeg - "When to overthrow your government: the right to resist in the world's constitution"


On December 17 2010, a young Tunisian street vendor protesting an abusive police official set off a wave of democratic uprisings throughout the Arab world. In rising up against their governments, the peoples of the Arab Spring were confronting an age-old problem in political theory: when is it acceptable to rise up against an unjust authority? This question is not only of great importance to the peoples of the Middle East today, but was also of profound interest to the American founders and, through them, has informed the very basis of modern constitutionalism. It is perhaps unsurprising then that many constitutions themselves provide an answer to this question, allowing the people to challenge or overthrow their governments under certain circumstances. But to date, little systematic and empirical analysis has been done on the prevalence of this so-called “right to resist” in national constitutions, or on what motivates constitution-makers to adopt such a right. 

This article takes up the task. It presents a unique and original dataset on right to resist provisions in all national constitutions written since 1781, tracing its historical trajectory and demonstrating how it has proliferated in recent decades. The article moreover provides the first-ever empirical exploration of why it is, exactly, that constitution-makers give their people a constitutional mandate to overthrow or contradict their governing authorities – likely those very authorities elsewhere empowered by the same constitution. Drawing on a range of real-world examples as well as regression analysis, we show that right to resist provisions are most likely to be first established following a disruption of the previous constitutional order, either through popular democratic transition or through a violent political break such as coup d’état. 

These findings suggest that the constitutional right to resist serves a dual function, depending on its context. On the one hand, the constitutional right to resist can represent a fundamentally democratic and forward-looking tool that constrains future government abuse, empowers national citizenry, and acts as an insurance policy against undemocratic backsliding. On the other hand, the right can serve as a backward-looking justification for coup-makers who seek retroactive legitimacy for whatever political crimes placed them in a position to be making a new constitution in the first place. Which of these two functions prevails may be in large part regionally determined. Latin American constitution-makers primarily adopted the right to resist in the aftermath of coup d’états, while in other parts of the world the right to resist functions as a pre-commitment device against undemocratic backsliding. 

Our findings have significant implications for our broader understanding of constitutionalism. At the heart of any constitution, it is thought, lies a wish to bind the future on behalf of the present. Yet our findings suggest that, at least in some cases, constitutional provisions may also serve the function of reinterpreting and justifying the past. At least where the right to resist is concerned, constitutions are as much about yesterday as they are about tomorrow.

quarta-feira, 15 de agosto de 2012

O "véu de opulência"

Em seu post para o blog The Stone, Benjamin Hale estabelece uma analogia entre o célebre argumento do "véu de ignorância" proposto por John Rawls e aquilo que identifica como um dos principais argumentos dos conservadores norte-americanos: o "véu da opulência" - Qual o tipo de sociedade que gostaria de viver caso fosse rico?

The Veil of Opulence - The Stone

Nowadays, the veil of ignorance is challenged by a powerful but ancient contender: the veil of opulence. While no serious political philosopher actually defends such a device — the term is my own — the veil of opulence runs thick in our political discourse. Where the veil of ignorance offers a test for fairness from an impersonal, universal point of view — “What system would I want if I had no idea who I was going to be, or what talents and resources I was going to have?” — the veil of opulence offers a test for fairness from the first-person, partial point of view: “What system would I want if I were so-and-so?” These two doctrines of fairness — the universal view and the first-person view — are both compelling in their own way, but only one of them offers moral clarity impartial enough to guide our policy decisions.

Those who don the veil of opulence may imagine themselves to be fantastically wealthy movie stars or extremely successful business entrepreneurs. They vote and set policies according to this fantasy. “If I were such and such a wealthy person,” they ask, “how would I feel about giving X percentage of my income, or Y real dollars per year, to pay for services that I will never see nor use?”

terça-feira, 7 de agosto de 2012

Os impactos da riqueza nos governos democráticos

O ensaio condutor da Boston Review deste mês traz a discussão sobre o impacto da riqueza e dos recursos privados nos governos democráticos. O texto é de Martin Giles, com respostas de Nancy Rosenblum, e Mark Schmitt dentre outros. 

Martin Giles - Under the Influence

Democracy requires that all citizens—rich and poor alike—have influence over the policies their government adopts. Of course, it would be unreasonable to expect everyone to have equal sway. Citizens differ not only in economic resources but also in time, knowledge, and interest in social and political affairs. Still, when influence becomes too skewed toward the affluent, when political power becomes too concentrated in the hands of a few, democracy itself is threatened.

If you accept those basic premises, then you have good reason to be worried about American democracy. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to after studying the relationship between public policy and public preferences as revealed in responses to thousands of questions from national surveys conducted between 1964 and 2006. If you judge how much say people have—their influence over policy—by the match between their policy preferences and subsequent policy outcomes, then American citizens are vastly unequal in their influence over policymaking, and that inequality is growing. In most circumstances, affluent Americans exert substantial influence over the policies adopted by the federal government, and less well off Americans exert virtually none. Even when Democrats control Congress and the White House, the less well off are no more influential.

quarta-feira, 1 de agosto de 2012

Entrevista com Kok-Chor Tan

O filósofo Kok-Chor Tan discute seu livro, Justice, Institutions and Luck: the Site, Ground and Scope of Equality no site New Books in Philosophy. Recentemente, Tan tornou-se famoso por suas propostas igualitárias cosmopolitas e por sua participação no debate do "igualitarismo de fortuna".