The Problem of Justification of Political Obligations. A Civic Solidarity Argument
Abstract:Problems related to political obligations and their justification have been increasingly brought up by various kinds of normative reflection on politics in philosophy (A. John Simmons, Andrew Mason, George Klosko). It seems that one of the reasons – though most certainly not the only one – why philosophers are interested in the problem of political obligations of citizens of liberal democratic societies is the recognized crisis of the quality of participation in public institutions.
In the current policy of democratic states, participation is essentially realized in the paradigm of instrumental rationality, rarely communicative rationality (civil society/NGO's).
In my article, I am going to discuss the issue of justification of political obligations. The main focus will be on the reconstruction of civic solidarity argumentation.
I am going to look for arguments in the tradition of modern civic republicanism, in works by such scholars as Cass Sunstein, Charles Taylor and Andrzej Walicki reflection on patriotism.
This selection seems particularly fitting in view of the fact that republicanism not only emphasises the importance of solidarity – based deliberative activity of citizens for political order in the republic, but is currently experiencing a renewed interest of scholars – caused by the emergence of the information society which discards the traditional republican belief that a system based on active participation can only function effectively on small territories, e.g. on the level of cities, regions, considering it a relic of the past.
Political obligations are usually understood as obligations stemming from different social roles or voluntary duties assumed by citizens. They are usually taken to include at least the obligation to obey the laws of the Land and are often thought to include also further obligations of loyalty and “good citizenship”. Political obligations are moral obligations of citizens to support and comply with the requirements of their political authorities and the problem of political obligation is that of understanding why (if at all) citizens in various types of states are bound by such obligations.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2007
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- Values and Norms in the Age of Globalization
The authors of this book, scholars from Germany, Austria, the United States, Kirghizia and Poland, seek an answer to the challenges posed to social sciences by the globalization epoch. The challenges apply to such problems as the establishment of rights and rules and institutions governing the existence of supra- and international communities, the development of a common system of ethical values, moral standards and norms (or even the creation of a system of entirely new values, standards and norms) supporting the unification process, as well as the legitimacy and validity of transferring the values and standards and the models of economy and politics characteristic of European culture to other cultures and civilizations. This book raises the questions that are particularly significant to the present-day political practice in its European and global dimensions: the questions of place, role and dimension, as well as topicality or transformations in the post-modern order of the world, of such moral values, standards and norms present in politics as human rights, freedom, justice, responsibility, solidarity, tolerance, forgiveness, peace, security, education, modernization or democracy and law.
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