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Diego von Vacano

The article argues that Plato's Laws contain an implicit conception of freedom, particularly in Book III. It proposes that, while the concept is not treated systematically by Plato, it merits attention due to its presence in the text. I argue that there is a Form of Freedom in the book. It is comprised of two dimensions: an organic and a civic component. They are mediated by human agency. However, freedom in its ideal form is only possible for a select intellectual elite that can grasp these two dimensions. This elite is composed of a few wise elder men who take up the task of lawmaking as a ludic or playful enterprise. I also argue that degeneration away from true freedom is possible when political elites mislead a community away from Plato's ideal, such as with Cyrus in Persia. Ultimately, Plato's idea of freedom tells us that liberty is only truly available to a select few, not to a broad citizenry. Thus, freedom and democracy are not tied intimately but are opposed to each other.

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Law and Liberation

Critical Notes on Agamben’s Political Messianism

Jayne Svenungsson

that in one respect Agamben does repeat a typical supersessionist gesture, namely in pitting law against grace and thereby counterposing law to liberation. In so doing, Agamben not only fails to do justice to an essential element in Jewish conceptions

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William A. Quinn

…incerto tempore ferme incertisque locis spatio depellere paulum [at random times and places they shift a bit] Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (II, 218–219) Chaucer’s ‘The Man of Law’s Tale’ is strange. In the Riverside edition, Larry D. Benson

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Inside and Outside the law

Negotiated Being and Urban Jouissance in the Streets of Beirut

Ghassan Hage

of what gives Lebanon’s periodic civil wars their particularly chaotic form. “Shoo hal fawda b’hal balad!” (What a chaotic nation this is!), “Ma fi nazam b’hal balad!” (There is no law and order in this nation!), and “Ma fi dawleh!” (There is no state

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Changes in Moral Values about the Family

Adoption Legislation in Norway and the US

Signe Howell

Legislation about personal behavior, such as family law, clearly manifests concerns about individual and relational rights and duties. With a focus on adoption laws in Norway and the US and on two international conventions (the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption), I examine different cultural values regarding childhood and parenthood, both historically and comparatively. Accompanying the recent growth of transnational adoption in Western Europe and North America, issues about what might constitute 'the best interest of the child' have become central in influential welfare circles of European countries that receive children in adoption and are reflected on a global level through the conventions.

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Niki Megalommati

. Available sources—imperial law, histories and chronicles, hagiographies, and archival documents—were written mainly by males; female-authored texts are rare in Byzantine literature. Social stratification also operates against attempts to create a consistent

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Life at a Tangent to Law

Regulations, ‘Mistakes’ and Personhood amongst Kigali’s Motari

Will Rollason

stupidity. Thus, André could be seen as resisting legality, trying to avoid the problems of visibility and legibility ( Scott 1998 ) that the law imposes and the risk of serious difficulties that it might entail. In Rwandan studies, such accounts of people

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Alison K. Smith

ties with their home village or town. Laws regulating social mobility also developed extensively in this period. 6 Where the laws of passports were relatively simple ones of identification (the multiple rounds of laws about passports were largely

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Timo Pankakoski and Antto Vihma

Fragmentation has become a key concept in the analysis of international law and global governance in recent years. For many, fragmentation has both positive and negative aspects, but scholars are divided over which aspect is predominant. The

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"You’re a Trickster”

Mockery, Egalitarianism, and Uncertainty in Northeastern Namibia

Megan Laws

The trickster has held a prominent place in the study of folklore, as much as it has been central to anthropological understandings of egalitarianism. In both, the trickster embodies an insoluble tension between the repressed, amoral desires of the individual and the moral demands of social life. This tension, so it goes, is visible in the ambiguity of the figure—a protean indeterminate being, neither good nor bad. Among the Jú|’hoànsi of northeastern Namibia, the trickster is similarly ambiguous. The figure conveys not a clash of values, but rather the doubt and uncertainty people feel toward those with whom they share resources, or about different ways of sharing and how they might relate to one another. This article approaches such uncertainty through a focus on the mocking phrase “you’re a trickster” and the moral discourses that accompany it.