"This innovative rethinking of basic elements of liberal democracy in a global perspective, together with the probing criticisms of her distinguished commentators and her responses to them, offer the reader a superabundance of concentrated political-theoretical insight."--Thomas McCarthy, John C. Shaffer Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, Northwestern University"Can the sovereignty of the democratic state resist the growing pressures for a cosmopolitan order of global justice based on universal human rights? With her characteristic analytic acumen, Seyla Benhabib crafts a subtle and original answer to this pressing question. Challenged by the trenchant criticisms of Bonnie Honig, Will Kymlicka, and Jeremy Waldron, she further refines and develops an argument that is destined to be recognized as a major contribution to 21st-century political theory."--Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley"This is an exceptionally demanding book. It deserves to be read by serious students of political theory and cosmopolitan thought."--Michael Blake, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
In these two important lectures, distinguished political philosopher Seyla Benhabib argues that since the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, we have entered a phase of global civil society which is governed by cosmopolitan norms of universal justice--norms which are difficult for some to accept as legitimate since they are sometimes in conflict with democratic ideals. In her first lecture, Benhabib argues that this tension can never be fully resolved, but it can be mitigated through the renegotiation of the dual commitments to human rights and sovereign self-determination. Her second lecture develops this idea in detail, with special reference to recent developments in Europe (for example, the banning of Muslim head scarves in France). The EU has seen the replacement of the traditional unitary model of citizenship with a new model that disaggregates the components of traditional citizenship, making it possible to be a citizen of multiple entities at the same time.
The volume also contains a substantive introduction by Robert Post, the volume editor, and contributions by Bonnie Honig (Northwestern University), Will Kymlicka (Queens University), and Jeremy Waldron (Columbia School of Law).