Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who are the citizens of Europe?

Europe needs a binding moral foundation not a pan-European referendum, argues Alfred Grosser

The Irish referendum raises many questions. Now I don't mean the ones concerning the circumstances of the 'No' vote. Questions such as: Was the economy slowing down instead of thriving on EU assistance as it had been until recently? Or: Was the advertising for the 'No' campaign funded by conservative anti-European Americans of Irish descent? No, the issues I want to discuss are commentaries which say: This is what happens when you disregard the people and submit a treaty which has been drawn up undemocratically and is incomprehensible to boot! Philosopher Jürgen Habermas also recently expressed his doubts about democratic practice in the EU. He suggested combining next year's European elections with a European referendum.

full here

Emancipation or accommodation?: Habermasian vs. Rawlsian deliberative democracy

Emancipation or accommodation?
Habermasian vs. Rawlsian deliberative democracy
Christian F. Rostbøll
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

The development of the theory of deliberative democracy has culminated in a synthesis between Rawlsian political liberalism and Habermasian critical theory. Taking the perspective of conceptions of freedom, this article argues that this synthesis is unfortunate and obscures some important differences between the two traditions. In particular, the idea of internal autonomy, which was an important, implicit idea in the ideology critique of the earlier Habermas, falls out of view. There is no room for this dimension of freedom in political liberalism and it has largely disappeared from the later Habermas. In so far as others have followed Rawls and Habermas, deliberative democratic theory has converged around a less critical and more accommodationist view of freedom. If we want to keep deliberative democracy as a critical theory of contemporary society, we should resist this convergence. Our starting point should not be `the fact of reasonable pluralism' but rather `the fact of unreflective acquiescence'. This article argues for incorporating internal autonomy in a complex theory of freedom to which deliberative democracy should be normatively committed.

Key Words: autonomy • deliberative democracy • freedom • Jürgen Habermas • ideology critique • John Rawls


Sunday, August 17, 2008

European prize goes to philosopher Habermas

The European Prize of Political Culture has been awarded to the German philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas at the Locarno Film Festival.

Habermas' theories have greatly contributed to the evolution of modern social sciences, the Hans Ringier Foundation, patrons of the €50,000 prize said.

The philosopher, born in 1929, is best known for his work on the concept of the public sphere, the topic and title of his first book.

Last year the prize went to Serbian president Boris Tadic; Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg's prime minister received the honour in 2006. The prize is in its third year.

from here

H/T Continental Philosophy
Locations of visitors to this page