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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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CHAPTER II The Ties that Bind: From Cosmopolitan Justice to the Right to Rights


… un peuple est donc un peuple avant de se donner … Ce don même est un acte civil, il suppose une délibération publique. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Du contrat social Cosmopolitan appeals to democratic justice extend the application of human rights principles but also address the democratic deficit by emphasizing the role of democratic ethics in public life. The globalization of democratic norms goes hand in hand with the growth of transnational networks that claim to speak with moral authority on behalf of both democracy and human rights. Concomitantly, the contours of a global public sphere, featuring debate that explicitly reconnect issues of human rights and human security, to democratic legitimacy, are becoming clearer. Appeals to deliberation on matters of common concern, especially in the area of survival, create a picture of a global democratic world where the public sphere, deliberation and dialogue occupy a preponderant place as an antidote to the forces of violence and injustice. Might a global, participatory and critical public sphere be conceived as a civil act and even as a gift to the world by modern democracy? Here, tensions emerge again. In a globalized and fluid, but also pluralist and asymmetric world, appeals to solidarity can no longer be grounded in fictitious appeals to ideological unity. Certainly, the cosmopolitan idealism that has historically accompanied universalist forms of discourse, and that has occulted the claims of difference, must be addressed. The hypothesis that the cosmopolitan extension of democratic citizenship includes moral reflection on the duty to...

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