A futile fight. No escape from democratic legitimacy

Questioning democratic legitimacy is not new in the political philosophy literature (cf. Rosanvallon et al., 2011 or Valentini, 2012), nor is the proposal of alternative mechanisms. One of the most recent examples of these is that of Stemplowska and Swift in Dethroning Democratic Legitimacy (Stemplowska et al., 2018:3-27).

The emergence of the beast: About the concept of the public

Given the fact that people are inevitably “side by side” since the beginning of time and that “all human activities are conditioned by the fact that we live together”1, people have always had to organize in a certain way. As a consequence of that indisputable and self-evident fact -- and given the fact that man is bound by the relentless and continuous demarche of time – many different polities, which are types of social organization, have been created. 

What, if anything, is wrong with affirmative action?

Affirmative action can be defined as the process of giving some form of favouritism to previously or currently disadvantaged groups of society with the aim of bridging inequalities, especially in employment and education admissions. 

Liberal political philosophy has often defended affirmative action, especially under the broader framework of distributive justice, equality of opportunity and moral desert. And this defence has been particularly strong within deontological liberalism –although not exclusively (e.g., Sher, 1975:159-170). Deontological liberalism, also referred to as Rawlsian liberalism or simply political liberalism, is an account of liberal philosophy that asserts the priority of the right over the good, as opposed to teleological liberalism, which upholds the priority of the good over the right. 

On Alienated Labour and Why it is Problematic

As Marx says in the ‘Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844’, we realise human essence through labour (Marx, 1977:73-74). It is the realisation of human potentialities what concerns Marx in the first place, for it is the creation of our productive activity what constitutes the source of human happiness. Therefore, it is not only through labour where a person expresses its individuality, but also in the result of it; the product of labour (Marx, 1844:17-18).

The Autonomy Challenge in Wolff and Raz: A critique in defence of a priori philosophical anarchism

The notion of political authority is strongly disputed, and very few have brought into consideration the problems surrounding it better than R.P. Wolff in his In Defense of Anarchism. This essay consists of a critique of Raz’s Normal Justification Thesis (hereinafter NJT) as a response to the autonomy challenge presented in Wolff’s a priori anarchism.

Borders and Boundaries: A critique to Miller's Territorial Jurisdiction as an Argument for Border Control

States already exercise the right of admittance or exclusion. Nonetheless, it is the task of political philosophy to determine whether they should. Historically, the state has been an exoskeleton whose purpose was to protect and promote the development of free and national societies. However, pressing phenomena such as globalization, migration and international integration are pushing for a paradigm shift in the state’s raison d’être in this regard. For what used to be a strong exoskeleton is now an internal one, diminished in visibility and weakened in character. And this raises some questions regarding two fundamental aspects of all democratic states. Namely, that the demos is bound; and that this demos has the right to define, and exercise control over, its own boundaries. This essay attempts to respond to the challenge the latter encounters today. And it seeks to do so from a normative perspective, rather than a positivist one, assessing one aspect of an argument that defends the morality of a state’s decision to unilaterally close its borders: David Miller’s self-determination account as a basis for territorial jurisdiction.

Without effective enforcement mechanisms, human rights talk is not mere rhetoric

The modern human rights doctrine responds to an intention of providing a precise
formula of what human dignity entails and the respect it deserves. However, some argue,
the chosen formula is inadequate. Perhaps the most relevant and pervasive challenge to the
liberal doctrine is that which addresses the emptiness apparently embedded in human rights
talk. Proponents of such views allege that this rhetorical use is a “bitter mockery to
the poor and needy” (O’Neill, 1996:133) inasmuch as talking of rights without their proper
enforcement makes them “an inherently vacuous conception, and to speak of human rights
is a kind of puffery or white magic” (Geuss, 2001:144).

Escaping the Paradox of Power-Sharing? The case of Catalonia

Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence last October poses the question of which is the political structure that could accommodate Spanish and Catalan interests, as well as create a framework of coexistence for all Catalans. But in order to satisfactorily arrive to any conclusion, we must first review which are the claims that ought to be appeased or granted, and what contributed to the development of such claims.