The Editors's Latest Posts
In this important new work, historian Sarah Bridger explores the ambivalent role of scientists in U.S. policy debates over national defense issues from the 1950s to the 1980s. This is a significant contribution to our understanding of the evolution of the scientific professions in the shadow of the national security state.
As states mobilize popular sentiment, diplomatic pressure, and foreign aid over the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) persons, it is no longer tenable to argue that LGBTQ issues are inconsequential in global affairs.
Discomfort with denationalization spans both proceduralist and consequentialist objections. I augment Patti Lenard’s arguments against denationalization with an epistemological argument. What makes denationalization problematic for democratic theorists are not simply the procedures used to impose this penalty or its consequences but also the permanence of this type of punishment.
Patti Tamara Lenard assesses the justifications given for the right to revoke citizenship in democratic states and concludes that this practice is inconsistent with a commitment to democratic equality. She provides three normative reasons for the mismatch between democratic principles and revocation laws: that the practice of revocation discriminates between different citizens within each state; that it provides differential penalties for the same crime; and that it does not provide transparent justification or due process for this harsh punishment.
What first caught my eye when reading Patti Lenard’s clear and carefully argued critique of citizenship revocation was a claim at the end of her first paragraph: the power to revoke citizenship, she says, “is incompatible with democracy.” That is quite a strong claim, and my thoughts turned immediately to the fons et origo of democracy, ancient Greece. Weren’t the Greek city-states notorious for the readiness with which they disenfranchised, banished, exiled, even outlawed some among their own citizens?
Is the revocation of citizenship—a policy increasingly adopted by democratic states—a violation of democratic principles? In an article published in the Spring 2016 issue of this journal, I argued that it is. A true commitment to the best understanding of democratic citizenship does not permit the revocation of some citizens’ status by others.
As the dust has settled following the 2008 financial crisis and the economic dislocations that ensued, it has become clear that central banks have gained considerably in authority— using highly unorthodox tools to stimulate the economy, taking a greater role in financial regulation, and putting themselves in more politically sensitive positions.
In recent years philosophical discussions of human rights have focused on the question of whether “humanist” and “political” conceptions of human rights are genuinely incompatible or whether some kind of synthesis between them may be possible.