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A Study in Transborder Ethics

Justice, Citizenship, Civility- Foreword by Daniel Innerarity


Geneviève Souillac

A renewed approach to democratic ethics is needed, one that takes into consideration the management of complexity and memory in a global world. The expansion of democratic ethics for the stewardship of a postnational, postmetaphysical, and postsecular world is the object of this book. It takes as its point of departure current proposals for global democratic justice, but extends these by incorporating contemporary European ideas on border and existential ethics. The privilege of democratic citizenship includes our conscious involvement with our historical destinies, and with others whom we inevitably encounter on our journey of contemporary politics. A post-heroic approach to democratic ethics, one which takes violence and injustice seriously, yet understands the constraints posed on us as historical beings, is necessary. The practices of civility, such as they arise from a normative democratic universe and the ever-increasing role of civil society, can be harnessed for a transborder ethics. The examination of a contemporary democratic anthropology that includes a phenomenology of violence further clarifies the importance of intersubjective processes of encounter, dialogue, and recognition.


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Foreword by Daniel Innerarity


11 Foreword Daniel INNERARITY The world we live in is filled with paradoxes, a significant part of which could be summarized by saying that this is a world of everyone and of no one. There are many issues that are everybody’s business (because they affect all of us and require a coordinated response) but for which, at the same time, nobody is capable or willing to assume respon- sibility (because there is no agency that is competent to address these issues or because nobody takes charge of them). What is the difference between what is shared and what is uncontrollable, between the com- mon responsibility and the generalized irresponsibility? How do we distinguish what belongs to everybody from what belongs to no one, what has no owner from what nobody takes care of? How do we avoid branding empty concepts as universal and celebrating as a new opening what, in reality, leaves us at the mercy of the elements and makes us vulnerable? Geneviève Souillac’s book ventures into this partially unexplored territory with an admirable subtlety. The research into the nature and management of these new public goods of humanity is carried out with the true passion of a scholar. This can be seen in the originality of some of the formulations that the author suggests we use to manage these novel realities. The world’s cartography no longer establishes a coherent whole of self-sufficient units. Rather, it offers an incomplete map of areas whose sovereignty is ambiguous, of spaces...

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