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Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram Oct 2013

Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram

David Ingram

In this paper I argue that the discourse theoretic account of human rights defended by Jürgen Habermas contains a fruitful tension that is obscured by its dominant tendency to identify rights with legal claims. This weakness in Habermas’s account becomes manifest when we examine how sweatshops diminish the secure enjoyment of subsistence, which Habermas himself (in recognition of the UDHR) recognizes as a human right. Discourse theories of human rights are unique in tying the legitimacy of human rights to democratic deliberation and consensus. So construed, their specific meaning and force is the outcome of historical political struggle. However ...


The Limits Of Debate Or What We Talk About When We Talk About Gender Imbalance On The Bench, Keith Bybee Dec 2012

The Limits Of Debate Or What We Talk About When We Talk About Gender Imbalance On The Bench, Keith Bybee

Keith J. Bybee

What do we talk about when we talk about gender imbalance on the bench? The first thing we do is keep track of the number of female judges. Once the data has been gathered, we then argue about what the disparity between men and women in the judiciary means. These arguments about meaning are not freestanding. On the contrary, I claim that debates over gender imbalance occur within the context of a broader public debate over the nature of judicial decisionmaking. I argue that this public debate revolves around dueling conceptions of the judge as impartial arbiter and as politically ...