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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 IV Democracy Across Borders: Citizenship, Civility, Encounter


Vous êtes perdus, si vous oubliez que les fruits sont à tous, et que la terre n’est à personne. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discours sur l’inégalité This book has so far explored the ambiguities of democratic legitimacy. As it has been asking, how can a democratic legitimacy anchored in human rights and popular sovereignty lead to further democratic capacity? It has examined the dilemmas of democratic justice in a pluralist world, and supported a longitudinal approach to the management of complexity within democracy. This includes considering possible futures, but also how the historical violence that calls for our attention as moral and political beings in quest for democratic meaning continues into the future. As we have seen since Chapter 1, a closer look at democratic memory and the contours of democratic anthropology enriches the contemporary debate on democratic ethics and democratic justice, and clarifies democratic disenchantment. Dehumanization accompanies the shadow of the “people” as a common referent of democratic justice. Democracy is designed to protect the rights of individuals and the rights of peoples, and is constitutionally founded with reference to both the people of democracy and the individuals living in a democracy. It also carries universal meaning, and symbolic power with respect to those beyond one’s borders. However, when the delicate fabric of normative governance based on democratic ideals, and the limitation and sharing of power, breaks down, as Daniel Innerarity reminds us, we are left with brute force and lies.1 Further understanding and practices to furnish an antidote to violence in...

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