Download Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy by Bonnie Honig PDF

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By Bonnie Honig

This booklet intervenes in modern debates in regards to the danger posed to democratic lifestyles via political emergencies. needs to emergency inevitably increase and centralize top-down kinds of sovereignty? those that oppose govt department enhancement usually flip as an alternative to legislation, insisting at the sovereignty of the rule of thumb of legislations or difficult that legislations instead of strength be used to unravel conflicts with enemies. yet are those the single strategies? Or are there extra democratic how you can reply to invocations of emergency politics? taking a look at how emergencies some time past and current have formed the advance of democracy, Bonnie Honig argues that democracies needs to withstand emergency's pull to target life's prerequisites (food, defense, and naked necessities) simply because those are likely to privatize and isolate voters instead of carry us jointly on behalf of hopeful futures. Emphasizing the connections among mere lifestyles and extra lifestyles, emergence and emergency, Honig argues that emergencies name us to wait anew to a ignored paradox of democratic politics: that we want reliable voters with aspirational beliefs to make strong politics whereas we'd like sturdy politics to infuse voters with idealism.

Honig takes a wide method of emergency, contemplating immigration politics, new rights claims, modern foodstuff politics and the infrastructure of intake, and the boundaries of legislation through the crimson Scare of the early 20th century. Taking its bearings from Moses Mendelssohn, Franz Rosenzweig, and different Jewish thinkers, this can be a significant contribution to trendy thought of the demanding situations and hazards of democratic orientation and motion in line with emergency.

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Extra resources for Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy

Sample text

632, when the people who later became Sun’ni or Shia decided differently how to answer the fateful question of who was to be Islam’s next rightly guided caliph: Ali, a direct descendant of the prophet, or Mu’awiya Ummayad who, after beating Ali in battle, declared himself caliph? 22 Rousseau may have had this example in mind: He refers only a few lines later in his text to the children of Ishmael. Even without such extreme division, the irreducibly political condition of the community is not ameliorated at this point in Rousseau’s text; it is unrelieved.

The problem of a possible conflict between them is unique to modern constitutional democracies because they have two distinct sources of legitimation, the rule of law and popular sovereignty: “This duality raises the question of how the democratic principle and constitutionalism are related,” he explains. But that question is answerable. The two principles are ­“co-­original,” Habermas says, meaning that they are of equal conceptual import; neither is prior to the other. He differs from Chantal Mouffe, who argues that the two principles are antagonists in need of articulation.

In sum, the current focus on the question of what we are legitimately allowed to do in response to emergency, while important, tends to privi-­ lege the moment of decision and obscure its also important aftermath. It tends to focus attention on the moment of emergency and not on the ­afterlife of survival. It tends to make us feel like everything is justifiable and there can be no cause for regret when our survival is at stake. But a democracy’s survival requires quite the opposite attitude. Regret is a mor-­ ally and politically productive emotion and survival requires it.

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