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Dennis Masaka

In this article, I argue that individuals could be entitled to rights, outside those that are communally conferred, as part of the primary requirement of being ‘persons’ in the African communitarian set-up if the terms ‘person’ and ‘personhood’ are understood differently from the way they are currently deployed in the communitarian discourse. The distinction between these two terms is the basis of my thesis where clarity on their meanings could be helpful in establishing the possibility of ascribing rights outside those that are communally conferred. I argue that ontologically, a ‘person’ is prior to ‘personhood’ (understood in the normative sense) which is considered to find its fuller expression in a community and by virtue of this, I think that he or she is entitled to some rights outside those that are defined and conferred by the community. This is my point of departure in this article.

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Rights and Duties in Menkiti

A Response to Masaka's Objection of Menkiti

Vitumbiko Nyirenda

Dennis Masaka argues that individuals have rights outside those conferred by the community. The argument is a critique to Ifeanyi Menkiti’s view of personhood. He argues that Menkiti uses the word person and personhood as synonymous. Masaka makes a distinction between the two, where person is an ontological concept, and personhood is a normative concept. For Masaka, individuals have rights by virtue of being persons and not personhood. My approach to the paper is therapeutic. I argue that Masaka misinterprets Menkiti’s views. I argue that Menkiti does not allocate rights in his idea of personhood and as something conferred by the community as proposed by Masaka. This implies that Masaka’s view is not radically different from Menkiti’s.

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Ramin Jahanbegloo

The article deals with Mohandas K. Gandhi's theory of democracy and its related civic practices. It indicates the relation between Gandhi's idea of civic duty and his idea of democracy, and argues that few would dispute that Gandhi was one of the most original and transformative thinkers of democracy. The article maintains that among his many notable contributions, Gandhi is rightly credited with emphasizing on the ideas of citizenship duty, truth in politics, genuine self-rule, and ethically enlightened democracy. In addition to advocating self-sustaining villages and communal cooperation, Gandhi developed an idea of non-liberal democracy reducing individualism, economic greed, and laissez-faire by insisting on a duty oriented and spiritually empowered participative democracy. Nearly seven decades after his death, Gandhi stands as one of the most significant and relevant non-Western theorist of democracy.

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Revisiting the Menkiti-Gyekye Debate

Who Is a Radical Communitarian?

Motsamai Molefe

one that chiefly characterises an African moral thought. Secondly, I demonstrate that Menkiti actually does not necessarily deny nor reject rights per se; instead, he is proposing an alternative political model that prioritises duties/obligations for

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Tolerating the Conditionally Tolerant

The Uneasy Case of Salvation Religions

William A. Edmundson

, one could save another from eternal damnation, it would be callous not to try. Unsurprisingly, salvation religions tend to impose a positive duty on believers to actively recruit nonbelievers. “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's” was never meant to

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The Limits of Liberal Democracy

Prospects for Democratizing Democracy

Viviana Asara

Capital. 4 Wesley Hohfeld identified four basic components of rights: privilege, claim, power, and immunity. Rights as privilege—that is rights that lack a duty not to do something—have inspired another famous distinction of rights as duty and rights as

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Lest We Forget (Matter)

Posthumanism, Memory, and Exclusion

Matthew Howard

’s authority can therefore be measured in terms of whether or not its citizens act in accordance with a ‘general obligation to obey’ those duties bestowed upon them by the juridical order of the state” (2009: 201) is grounded in a sense that a community is

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China’s New Silk Road

Autocracy Promotion in the New Asian Order?

Octavia Bryant and Mark Chou

think it their duty to criticize or offer assistance where it is not wanted. It is easy enough to understand his underlying rationale for making these comments. After all, no Chinese leader would want anything more than to avoid the critical gaze of

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Nancy S. Love, Sanford F. Schram, Anthony J. Langlois, Luis Cabrera, and Carol C. Gould

). Gould claims that the positive duties we have to aid one another and the empathic feelings that undergird them complement and support struggles for global justice. For Gould, “general human solidarity” is a useful “horizon of possibility” or “limit

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Does Democratic Theory Need Epistemic Standards?

Grounds for a Purely Procedural Defense of Majority Rule

Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti

a moral duty to obey collective decisions because such a duty can only stem from the presumption that political outcomes correspond to an objective standard of normative “truth.” Similarly, in her book Democratic Reason (2013) Hélène Landemore has