Democracy, individual rights and…

DEMOCRACY, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND THE ENGINE ROOM OF THE CONSTITUTION: A BRIEF RESPONSE TO MARISA IGLESIAS
[
La democracia, los derechos y la sala de máquinas de la Constitución: una breve réplica a Marisa Iglesias]

Roberto Gargarella
Conicet, Argentina
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina
Av. Presidente Figueroa Alcorta 7350 (1428) CABA (Argentina)
roberto.gargarella@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

This brief article is a response to some of the objections that Marisa Iglesias has formulated against my conception of individual rights and the role I assign to courts in my book Latin American Constitutionalism: The Engine Room of the Constitution. In particular, I clarify some of my main ideas in this respect, highlight several points of agreement with Marisa and offer a quick blueprint of my views about dialogic constitutionalism.

Keywords: Democracy, Individual Rights, Dialogic Constitutionalism, Judicial Activism

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Institutional perfection…

INSTITUTIONAL PERFECTION OR IMPROVEMENT OF IMPERFECT INSTITUTIONS?
AN ESSAY ON THE METHODOLOGICAL STATUS OF PERFECT BUT UNFEASIBLE INSTITUTIONAL REGIMES
[
¿Perfección institucional o mejoramiento de las instituciones imperfectas? Un ensayo sobre el estatus metodológico de regímenes institucionales perfectos pero implausibles]

Leandro Martins Zanitelli
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Av. Álvarez Cabral, 221 – Centro, Minas Gerais (Brasil)
leandrozanitelli@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT

The paper deals with “perfect institutional regimes” (PIRs), defined as regimes that optimally satisfy a given value (like justice). Assuming that a PIR is unfeasible in the short term to agents willing to achieve it, what reasons do we have to spend time on a PIR? One answer is that knowing about PIRs is interesting enough to warrant an inquiry into the subject, even if it is not likely to change the world. Another is that searching for a PIR helps to set up the principles under which more modest proposals of change are to be evaluated. Another, finally, is that theorizing about a PIR may have a motivational impact: although there are no motivated agents to whom the realization of a PIR is nowadays feasible, talking about it might lead to a change of this scenario.

Keywords: Perfect institutional regimes, ideal and non ideal theories, feasibility, property-owning democracy, liberal socialism

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El peso de los daños

THE WEIGHT OF HARM: HARMED STATES AND REASONS AGAINST HARMING
[El peso de los daños: estado de daño y razones para no dañar]

Santiago Truccone Borgogno
Conicet
Centro de Investigaciones Jurídicas y Sociales (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba)
Programa de Ética y Teoría Política (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba)
Caseros 301, Ciudad de Córdoba, Córdoba (Argentina)
santiagotruccone@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

In this paper I intend to analyse the meaning of harm as well as the strength of the reasons against harming provided by harm-states. I will argue that there are two kinds of harms: absolute harms and relative harms. Also, I will argue that when certain harm has been completely covered by considering such harm as absolute, the consideration of such harm as –also– relative is displaced. Such considerations should be taken into account when the suffered harms cannot be entirely explained by considerations regarding absolute harms. If these claims are right, we will have guidelines to measure, among other things, the agent´s moral responsibility in different kind of cases.

Keywords: Counterfactual – Harm – Reasons – Responsibility – Threshold

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El peso de los daños

THE WEIGHT OF HARM: HARMED STATES AND REASONS AGAINST HARMING
[El peso de los daños: estado de daño y razones para no dañar]

Santiago Truccone Borgogno
Conicet
Centro de Investigaciones Jurídicas y Sociales (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba)
Programa de Ética y Teoría Política (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba)
Caseros 301, Ciudad de Córdoba, Córdoba (Argentina)
santiagotruccone@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

In this paper I intend to analyse the meaning of harm as well as the strength of the reasons against harming provided by harm-states. I will argue that there are two kinds of harms: absolute harms and relative harms. Also, I will argue that when certain harm has been completely covered by considering such harm as absolute, the consideration of such harm as –also– relative is displaced. Such considerations should be taken into account when the suffered harms cannot be entirely explained by considerations regarding absolute harms. If these claims are right, we will have guidelines to measure, among other things, the agent´s moral responsibility in different kind of cases.

Keywords: Counterfactual – Harm – Reasons – Responsibility – Threshold

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¿Cómo piensa los derechos…

HOW DOES THE ENGINE ROOM OF THE CONSTITUTION THINK ABOUT RIGHTS?
[¿Cómo piensa los derechos La Sala de Máquinas de la Constitución?]

Marisa Iglesias Vila
Universidad Pompeu Fabra
Edificio Roger de Llúria (Campus de la Ciutadella)
Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27 – 08005 Barcelona
marisa.iglesias@upf.edu

 

ABSTRACT

  This paper comments on one aspect of Roberto Gargarella’s critical approach to the evolution of constitutional reforms in Latin America: the inclusion of constitutional rights without redistributing institutional power. His proposal to transform the Latin American constitutionalism is to improve the collective dialogue between state powers, and between these powers and the citizenry. I suggest that Gargarella neglects the relevance of reviewing the conception of constitutional rights too, since such reconsideration may contribute to unblock designs which end up preserving social inequalities without enabling political resistance to them. In this vein, I propose substituting the traditional understanding of constitutional rights as barriers or trumps for the idea of rights as mandatory goals or optimization requirements. In the paper I point out some advantages of this revised conception as compared to the liberal perspective, and explain why it may be helpful in strengthening the egalitarian constitutional project.

Key words: Constitutional Rights; Rights as Goals; Proportionality; Culture of Justification; Institutional Division of Labor; Deliberative Quality.

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¿Cómo piensa los derechos…

HOW DOES THE ENGINE ROOM OF THE CONSTITUTION THINK ABOUT RIGHTS?
[¿Cómo piensa los derechos La Sala de Máquinas de la Constitución?]

Marisa Iglesias Vila
Universidad Pompeu Fabra
Edificio Roger de Llúria (Campus de la Ciutadella)
Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27 – 08005 Barcelona
marisa.iglesias@upf.edu

 

ABSTRACT

  This paper comments on one aspect of Roberto Gargarella’s critical approach to the evolution of constitutional reforms in Latin America: the inclusion of constitutional rights without redistributing institutional power. His proposal to transform the Latin American constitutionalism is to improve the collective dialogue between state powers, and between these powers and the citizenry. I suggest that Gargarella neglects the relevance of reviewing the conception of constitutional rights too, since such reconsideration may contribute to unblock designs which end up preserving social inequalities without enabling political resistance to them. In this vein, I propose substituting the traditional understanding of constitutional rights as barriers or trumps for the idea of rights as mandatory goals or optimization requirements. In the paper I point out some advantages of this revised conception as compared to the liberal perspective, and explain why it may be helpful in strengthening the egalitarian constitutional project.

Key words: Constitutional Rights; Rights as Goals; Proportionality; Culture of Justification; Institutional Division of Labor; Deliberative Quality.

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Deliberative Democracy…

DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY AND THE PROBLEM OF THE COMMONS
[La democracia deliberativa y el problema de los comunes]

Juan Nascimbene
Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
jnascimbene@gmail.com
Avenida Paseo Colón 275, 8º piso, CP 1063 – CABA – Argentina

 

ABSTRACT

  Following Hardin’s paper of “The tragedy of the commons”, it has been traditionally sustained that the government should manage public good resources since their private management would lead to their depletion. However, Elinor Ostrom has challenged this account by identifying a specific type of Common-pool resources that, under circumstances of trust and fluid communication between the parties involved, can be efficiently managed by groups of individuals. In this context, it is this paper’s contention that the postulates of deliberative democracy are compatible with an efficient management of common-pool resources. Thus, this finding would contradict literature that autocratic governments are more effective in managing natural resources.

Key words: deliberative democracy, Common-pool resources, Ostrom, Tragedy of the Commons

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Legitimidad política…

POLITICAL LEGITIMACY BETWEEN SUBSTANCE AND PROCEDURE. A PRAGMATICAL APPROACH.
Legitimidad política entre la substancia y el procedimiento: un enfoque pragmático ]

Luis García Valina
Universidad de Buenos Aires
Centro de Investigaciones Filosóficas (Argentina)
Grupo de Filosofía Política (Argentina)
luisgarciavalina@gmail.com

Miñones 2073, CP 1077 – CABA – Argentina

 

ABSTRACT

The most popular conceptions of democratic legitimacy incur in serious difficulties in dealing consistently with two dimensions of democratic legitimacy which seem to be naturally associated with it: (1) the procedural dimension, associated with the fairness of the decision making process; and (2) the epistemic dimension, associated with the correction of the outputs. In this paper I argue that (a) such tension arises from the adoption of a “veritistic-consequentialist” social epistemology; (b) it is possible to deal with that tension by replacing this problematic epistemological conception with a pragmatist procedural social epistemology, and c) such replacement leads institutional design to an experimentalist orientation.

Keywords: democracy, legitimacy, knowledge, pragmatism, experimentalism

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Cohen v. Cohen: why a human right to…

COHEN V. COHEN: WHY A HUMAN RIGHT TO (DOMESTIC AND GLOBAL) DEMOCRACY DERIVES FROM THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION
[Cohen v. Cohen: por qué el derecho humano a la democracia (local y global) deriva del derecho a la autodeterminación]

Nahuel Maisley
CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Grupo de Filosofía Política
nahuel.maisley@gmail.com
Secretaria de Investigación, Av. Figueroa Alcorta 2263 (C1425CKB), CABA, Argentina

ABSTRACT

  In this paper, I challenge Joshua Cohen’s denial of the existence of a human right to democracy, using for that purpose arguments presented by Cohen himself in other occasions. In a first section, I explain five contradictions in which I believe Cohen incurs with respect to his previous works. In a second section, I explain two conclusions that I believe can be derived from this development: first, that the right of peoples to self-determination does not impede the existence of a human right to democracy (on the contrary, self-determination is impossible without democracy), and second, that this reasoning is not only applicable to the domestic order, but also to global decision-making.

Key words: Joshua Cohen – Self-Determination – Peoples – Democracy – Human Rights – Participation – International Law

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Estudio crítico

THE SOVEREIGN POLITICAL COMMUNITY BETWEEN THE PURE THEORY OF LAW AND DECISIONISM
[La comunidad política soberana entre la teoría pura del derecho y el decisionismo]

Cristina Andrea Sereni
Fundación Bariloche, CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo
casereni@gmail.com
Piedras 482, 2º Of. H, C1070AAJ, CABA, Argentina

 

ABSTRACT

 This article is based on The Sovereignty, book written in 1927 by the german philosopher and jurist Hermann Heller. It studies the concept of sovereignty in the thought of Hermann Heller in order to establish, first, a relationship between the historical context of the Weimar Republic and it’s precedent philosophical and juridical currents and, second, to contrast Heller’s concept of sovereignty with two contemporary thinkers, namely Carl Schmitt and Hans Kelsen. Thus, the author states that Hermann Heller stands between the existentialist voluntarism represented by Carl Schmitt and Hans Kelsen’s positivism, and that he has created a significant background for the current conception of sovereignty in international law.

Key words: Decisionism – Legal Positivism – State – Sovereignty – Weimar Republic

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