Another Cosmopolitanism (The Berkeley Tanner Lectures) by Seyla Benhabib

By Seyla Benhabib

In those very important lectures, exotic political thinker Seyla Benhabib argues that because the UN announcement of Human Rights in 1948, we have now entered a part of worldwide civil society that is ruled via cosmopolitan norms of common justice -- norms that are tricky for a few to just accept as valid on the grounds that they're in clash with democratic beliefs. In her first lecture, Benhabib argues that this pressure can by no means be absolutely resolved, however it could be mitigated in the course of the renegotiation of the twin commitments to human rights and sovereign self-determination. Her moment lecture develops this concept intimately, with designated connection with fresh advancements in Europe (for instance, the banning of Muslim head scarves in France). the ecu has obvious the substitute of the normal unitary version of citizenship with a brand new version that disaggregates the parts of conventional citizenship, making it attainable to be a citizen of a number of entities even as.

The quantity additionally encompasses a great advent through Robert submit, the amount editor, and contributions via Bonnie Honig (Northwestern University), Will Kymlicka (Queens University), and Jeremy Waldron (Columbia college of Law).

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30 By contrast, war crimes, as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (1993), initially only applied to international conflicts. With the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (1994), recognition was extended to internal armed conflict as well. 31 Thus, in a significant development since World War II, crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes have all been extended to apply not only to atrocities that take place in international conflict Philosophical Foundations • 29 situations but to events within the borders of a sovereign country that may be perpetrated by officials of that country or by its citizens during peacetime as well.

The concept of crimes against humanity, first articulated by the Allied powers in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals, stipulates that there are certain norms in accordance with which state officials as well as private individuals are to treat one another, even, and precisely under, 28 • Seyla Benhabib conditions of extreme hostility and war. The refrain of the soldier and the bureaucrat—”I was only doing my duty”—is no longer an acceptable ground for abrogating the rights of humanity in the person of the other, even when, and especially when, the other is your enemy.

The evolution of cosmopolitan norms, from crimes against humanity to norms extending to refuge, asylum, and immigration have caught most liberal democracies within a network of obligations to recognize certain rights claims. Although the asymmetry between the ‘demos’ and the ‘populus,’ the democratic people and the population as such, has not been overcome, norms of hospitality have gone far beyond what they were in Kant’s understanding: the status of alienage is now protected by civil as well as international laws; the guest is no longer a guest but a resident alien, as we say in American parlance, or a “foreign co-citizen,” as Europeans say.

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