What is law? What is it for? How should judges decide novel cases when the statutes and earlier decisions provide no clear answer? Do judges make up new law in such cases, or is there some higher law in which they discover the correct answer? Must everyone always obey the law? If not, when is a citizen morally free to disobey? A renowned philosopher enters the debate surrounding these questions. Clearly and forcefully, Ronald Dworkin argues against the “ruling” theory in Anglo-American law—legal positivism and economic utilitarianism—and asserts that individuals have legal rights beyond those explicitly laid down and that they have political and moral rights against the state that are prior to the welfare of the majority. Mr. Dworkin criticizes in detail the legal positivists' theory of legal rights, particularly H.L.A. Hart's well-known version of it. He then develops a new theory of adjudication, and applies it to the central and politically important issue of cases in which the Supreme Court interprets and applies the Constitution. Through an analysis of John Rawls's theory of justice, he argues that fundamental among political rights is the right of each individual to the equal respect and concern of those who govern him. He offers a theory of compliance with the law designed not simply to answer theoretical questions about civil disobedience, but to function as a guide for citizens and officials. Finally, Professor Dworkin considers the right to liberty, often thought to rival and even pre-empt the fundamental right to equality. He argues that distinct individual liberties do exist, but that they derive, not from some abstract right to liberty as such, but from the right to equal concern and respect itself. He thus denies that liberty and equality are conflicting ideals. Ronald Dworkin's theory of law and the moral conception of individual rights that underlies it have already made him one of the most influential philosophers working in this area. This is the first publication of these ideas in book form.
A landmark work of political and legal philosophy, Ronald Dworkin's Taking Rights Seriously was acclaimed as a major work on its first publication in 1977 and remains profoundly influential in the 21st century. A forceful statement of liberal principles - championing the legal, moral and political rights of the individual against the state - Dworkin demolishes prevailing utilitarian and legal-positivist approaches to jurisprudence. Developing his own theory of adjudication, he applies this to controversial public issues, from civil disobedience to positive discrimination. Elegantly written and cuttingly insightful, Taking Rights Seriously is one of the most important works of public thought of the last fifty years.
Das Zentrum wahrer Religiosität, so der bekennende Atheist Albert Einstein, sei die Ehrfurcht vor den Mysterien des Universums, »deren höchste Weisheit und strahlende Schönheit wir mit unseren matten Erkenntnisvermögen nur rudimentär begreifen können«. In diesem Sinne sei er, Einstein, ein tiefreligiöser Mensch. Aber was ist religiös an einer solchen Haltung, in der Gott offensichtlich keine Rolle spielt? Mit dieser Frage beschäftigte sich Ronald Dworkin in seinen Einstein-Vorlesungen, die er bis kurz vor seinem Tod zu diesem Buch ausgearbeitet hat. Religion, so seine Antwort, bezeichnet eine Sicht auf die Welt, die von einem tiefen Glauben an objektive Werte getragen wird – etwa daran, dass Geschöpfe eine Würde haben, dass ein Leben erfüllt oder verfehlt sein kann oder dass Schönheit, die uns den Atem raubt, sich nicht als pures Produkt unserer Sinnesorgane erklären lässt. Auch Theisten teilen diese Werte, meinen aber, sie seien gottgegeben. Für Dworkin verhält es sich genau umgekehrt: Die Idee eines Gottes rührt daher, dass es diese Werte wirklich gibt. Und an Gott (oder Götter) zu glauben ist eine Weise, dies auszudrücken, aber nicht die einzige. Von der Physik über die Politik bis hin zum Recht erkundet »Religion ohne Gott« den Perspektivwechsel, der mit einem solchen gottlosen Verständnis von Religion verbunden ist. Das Buch, das mit einer eindrucksvollen Reflexion über Tod und Unsterblichkeit schließt, ist das Vermächtnis eines bekennenden religiösen Atheisten. Es weitet den Blick für das, was wichtig ist.
»Der Fuchs weiß viele Dinge, aber der Igel weiß eine große Sache.« Der griechische Dichter Archilochos hat diesen Satz formuliert, Isaiah Berlin hat ihn mit seinem Tolstoi-Essay berühmt gemacht. Aber was ist diese »eine große Sache«? Ronald Dworkin liefert eine Antwort: Es sind Werte in all ihren Erscheinungsformen. Wenn wir verstehen wollen, was Wahrheit und Schönheit sind, was dem Leben Sinn verleiht, was die Moral fordert und die Gerechtigkeit verlangt, so müssen wir der Spur jener moralischen Einstellungen nachgehen, die menschliches Denken, Fühlen und Handeln durchdringen und zu einer Einheit formen. »Gerechtigkeit für Igel« ist eines jener Bücher, wie es sie in Zeiten der Füchse – der Spezialisten und Skeptiker – immer seltener gibt: eines, das aus einem einzigen Prinzip eine ganze Welt erklären und zugleich Orientierung geben möchte.
What is law? What is it for? How should judges decide novel cases when the statutes and earlier decisions provide no clear answer? Do judges make up new law in such cases, or is there some higher law in which they discover the correct answer? Must everyone always obey the law? If not, when is a citizen morally free to disobey?
Die wissenschaftliche Gerechtigkeitsdebatte, jahrelang dominiert von John Rawls'”Theorie der Gerechtigkeit“, erhielt 1983 durch Michael Walzer eine bedeutende Wendung. In Abgrenzung von Rawls und anderen Gerechtigkeitstheoretikern entwickelte Walzer in seinem inzwischen klassisch gewordenen Werk seine Vision einer”komplexen Gleichheit“. Er geht davon aus, dass wahre Gerechtigkeit nicht durch einen wörtlich verstandenen Gleichheitsbegriff verwirklicht werden kann: Vielmehr verlangen verschiedene wichtige Güter - Reichtum, Macht, Arbeit, Liebe - auch verschiedene Modi der Verteilung. Walzer setzt sich nachdrücklich für einen neuen pluralistischen Gleichheitsbegriff ein, der bis heute nichts an Aktualität verloren hat.
»Manche mögen dieses Buch und besonders seinen Titel alarmierend finden. Gut!« MADELEINE ALBRIGHT Weltweit kommt es zu einem Wiedererstarken anti-demokratischer, repressiver und zerstörerischer Kräfte. Die ehemalige amerikanische Außenministerin Madeleine Albright zeigt, welche großen Ähnlichkeiten diese mit dem Faschismus des 20. Jahrhunderts haben. Die faschistischen Tendenzen treten wieder in Erscheinung und greifen in Europa, Teilen Asiens und den Vereinigten Staaten um sich. Albrights Familie stammt aus Prag und floh zweimal: zuerst vor den Nationalsozialisten, später vor dem kommunistischen Regime. Auf Grundlage dieser Erlebnisse und der Erfahrungen, die sie im Laufe ihrer diplomatischen Karriere sammelte, zeichnet sie die Gründe für die Rückkehr des Faschismus nach. Sie identifiziert die Faktoren, die zu seinem Aufstieg beitragen und warnt eindringlich vor den Folgen. Doch Madeleine Albright bietet auch klare Lösungsansätze an, etwa die Veränderung der Arbeitsbedingungen und das Verständnis für die Bedürfnisse der Menschen nach Kontinuität und moralischer Beständigkeit. Sie zeigt, dass allein die Demokratie politische und gesellschaftliche Konflikte mit Rationalität und offenen Diskussionen lösen kann.
In recent decades, human rights have come to occupy an apparently unshakable position as a key and pervasive feature of contemporary global public culture. At the same time, human rights have become a central focus of research in the social sciences, embracing distinctive analytical and empirical agendas for the study of rights. This volume gathers together original social-scientific research on human rights, and in doing so situates them in an open intellectual terrain, thereby responding to the complexity and scope of meanings, practices, and institutions associated with such rights. Chapters in the book examine diverse theoretical perspectives and examine such issues as the right to health, indigenous peoples' rights, cultural politics, the role of the United Nations, women and violence, the role of corporations and labour law. Written by leading scholars in the field and from a range of disciplines across the social sciences, this volume combines new empirical research with both established and innovative social theory.
Jurisprudence For a Free Society is a remarkable contribution to legal theory. In its comprehensiveness & systematic elaboration, it stands among the major theories. It is also the most important jurisprudential statement to emerge in the post-war period. The pioneering work of Lasswell & McDougal on law & policy is already legendary. Most of the work produced by these scholars together & in collaboration with their students represent applications of their basic theory to a wide assortment of international & national legal & policy problems. Now, for the first time, the authoritative statement of their legal philosophy appears as a single volume. In Part I the authors develop their fundamental criteria for a theory about law, including the requirements of clarifying observational standpoint, focus of inquiry & the pertinent intellectual tasks incumbent on the scholar & decisionmaker for determining & achieving common interests. Trends in theories about law, including Natural Law, the Historical School, Positivism, the Sociological Study of Law, American Legal Realism & other contemporary theories, are explored for what they might contribute to the achievement to the authors' conception of an adequate jurisprudence. In Part II, the social process as a whole & the particular value-institutional processes that comprise it are described & analyzed. Because people establish, maintain & change institutions, the dynamics of personality & personality's relation to law is delineated. Part III explores the intellectual tasks of policy thinking, from clarification of values, through description of trend, the scientific examination of conditions, projection of future developments & the invention of alternatives. Part IV examines the structure of decision in a free society, a society in which the achievement of human dignity is confirmed in both word & deed. Six appendices bring together monographs by the authors over a period of forty years which deal, in more detail, with particular matters treated in the body of the book.
Rights are basic building blocks of the contemporary state and yet their rigorous justification is notoriously difficult. This book provides a thorough analysis of this central topic in modern political discourse. The book challenges the orthodox view that rights are a type of property claim in one's body. Drawing on the tradition of the social contract as well as the wealth of recent work in political theory the book argues for a different conception of rights. Rights are conceived as a certain type of political claim, justified by a Kantian ideal of autonomy. Moreover, that justification provides a moral basis for rights that, while independent of law and custom, is also tied to an image of citizenship particularly suited to the pluralistic nature of contemporary liberal society.
For all its achievements in integrating Europe, the EU lacks a human rights policy which is coherent, balanced and professionally administered. This volume provides an insightful critique of current policies and detailed recommendations for the future by leading experts in the field including individuals from every EU country.
The International Journal of Children’s Rights has been a major player in all this. Its impact is worldwide. It has established itself as the leading journal in the field. The journal is now in its 19th year, and is flourishing. This volume has been compiled not only to commemorate the journal’s work, but also the 20th anniversary of the Convention coming into operation, and of the first World Summit on Children. An anthology of the best articles published in these formative years, this volume offers a representative sample of what the journal has achieved. Some of the articles are ones which are frequently cited, whilst others are less well known; some deal with theory, others with practice. The case for children’s rights is to be found throughout this collection, as is the history of children’s rights.

Best Books