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Scheuerman, William E. (2009)
Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
Journal: Ethics & Global Politics
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects:
Prominent critical theorists (including Jürgen Habermas) have embraced a radical democratic version of the popular notion of ‘global governance without government’, according to which postnational democratization can be achieved without establishing robust firms of postnational statehood. The sources of the argument in Hauke Brunkhorst’s recent theorizing are critically interrogated. Brunkhorst’s interpretation of the European Union as an emerging case of postnational democracy, his critique of traditional ideas of state sovereignty, and Kelsenian notions about the primacy of global law are criticized. Robust democracy ‘beyond the nation-state’ will necessarily require the establishment of democratic postnational statehood.Keywords: global governance; global democracy; state building; monopoly on violence; cosmopolitanism; critical theory(Published: 10 March 2009)Citation: Ethics & Global Politics. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v2i1.1939
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    • The argument is developed in a number of Habermas' recent writings, but the clearest defense of it remains Ju¨ rgen Habermas, The Divided West, trans. Ciaran Cronin (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2006), 113 93. For critical engagements with it, see the essays collected in Peter Niesen and Benjamin Herborth, eds., Anarchie der kommunikativen Feiheit. Ju¨rgen Habermas und die Theorie der internationalen Politik [The Anarchy of Communicative Freedom: Jurgen Habermas und International Relations Theory] (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2007); also, Cristina Lafont, 'Alternative Visions of a New Global Order: What Should Cosmopolitans Hope for?' Ethics & Global Politics 1, no.1 2 (2008): 41 60; and William E.
    • Scheuerman, 'Global Governance without Global Government? Habermas on Postnational Democracy', Political Theory 36, no. 1 (2008): 133 51.
    • Ju¨ rgen Habermas, The Divided West, trans. Ciaran Cronin (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2006), 176.
    • Ibid., 135.
    • Ibid., 131.
    • Hauke Brunkhorst, 'Die Legitimationskrise der Weltgesellschaft. Global Rule of Law, Global Constitutionalism und Welstaatlichkeit', in Weltstaat und Weltstaatlichkeit. Beobachtungen globaler politischer Strukturbildung, ed. Matthias Albert and Rudolf Stichweh (Wiesbaden: Verlag fu¨ r Sozialwissenschaften, 2007), 101.
    • Glyn Morgan aptly describes this position as the 'postsovereignty' thesis. See Morgan, 'The Idea of a European Superstate. Public Justification and European Integration' (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), 111 32.
    • See especially, Hauke Brunkhorst, 'A Polity without a State? European Constitutionalism between Evolution and Revolution', in Developing a Constitution for Europe, ed. Erik Oddvar Eriksen, John Erik Fossum and Agustin Jose Menendez (London: Routledge, 2004), 96 8.
    • In a similar spirit, see William E. Scheuerman, 'Critical Theory Beyond Habermas', Oxford Handbook of Political Theory, ed. John Dryzek, Bonnie Honig and Anne Phillips (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 94 103.
    • Hauke Brunkhorst, 'The Legitimation Crisis of the EU', Constellations 13, no. 2 (2006): 177.
    • Ibid., 173 4.
    • Ibid., 177.
    • Jeffrey Flynn (Cambridge, USA: MIT Press, 2005), 131.
    • Hauke Brunkhorst, 'Verfassung ohne Staat? Das Schicksal der Demokratie in der europa¨ischen Rechtsgenossenschaft', Leviathan no. 4 (December 2004): 530.
    • Hauke Brunkhorst, 'Die Legitimationskrise der Weltgesellschaft. Global Rule of Law, Global Constitutionalism und Welstaatlichkeit', in Weltstaat und Weltstaatlichkeit. Beobachtungen globaler politischer Strukturbildung, ed. Matthias Albert and Rudolf Stichweh (Wiesbaden: Verlag fu¨ r Sozialwissenschaften, 2007)', 93. Adam Lupel astutely criticizes Habermas' tendency to see the EU as a model of sorts for global governance (Adam Lupel, 'Regionalization and Globalization: Post-nation or Extended Nation?', Polity 36 (2004): 153 74). Brunkhorst's similar tendency to treat the EU as a paradigmatic case also risks underplaying the idiosyncrasies of European experience.
    • The argument appears in many of Brunkhorst's recent writings, but a relatively early statement of it can be found in his 'Globalizing Democracy without a State: Weak Public, Strong Public, Global Constitutionalism', Millennium 31, no. 2 (2002): 675 90.
    • Hauke Brunkhorst, 'A Polity without a State? European Constitutionalism between Evolution and Revolution', in Developing a Constitution for Europe, ed. Erik Oddvar Eriksen, John Erik Fossum and Agustin Jose Menendez (London: Routledge, 2004), 102.
    • See, most recently, Brunkhorst, 'State and Constitution*A Reply to Scheuerman', Constellations 15, no. 4 (2008): 493 501; and also Brunkhorst, 'A Polity without a State', in Developing a Constitution for Europe, ed. Erik Oddvar Eriksen, John Erik Fossum and Agustin Jose Menendez (London: Routledge, 2004), 100 2.
    • Hauke Brunkhorst, 'A Polity without a State', in Developing a Constitution for Europe, ed. Erik Oddvar Eriksen, John Erik Fossum and Agustin Jose Menendez (London: Routledge, 2004), 101. Brunkhorst is referring to arguments made by Schmitt in the final chapter of Brunkhorst, 'Die Verfassungslehre' (Munich: Duncker & Humblot, 1928).
    • See, for example, Hauke Brunkhorst, 'Verfassung ohne Staat? Das Schicksal der Demokratie in der europa¨ischen Rechtsgenossenschaft', Leviathan no. 4 (December 2002): 530 43.
    • Hans J. Morgenthau, 'Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Peace and Peace', 2nd ed. (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1954), 415.
    • Albrecht Funk, 'The Monopoly of Legitimate Violence and Criminal Policy', in International Handbook of Violence Research, ed. W. Heitmeyer and J. Hagan (Amsterdam: Kluwer, 2003), 1059.
    • Campbell Craig, 'The Resurgent Idea of World Government', Ethics & International Affairs 22, no. 2 (2008): 135.
    • In a revealing contrast to Brunkhorst, in some of his initial writings on globalization, Habermas seemed to suggest that Europeans should aspire for a democratic federal state precisely because controversial redistributive social and economic can only gain sufficient notion of political power as having an 'impenetrable ''substance''' along the lines perhaps of Schmitt's 'concept of the political' (email to correspondence to the author, February 23, 2008, on file with the author). It is unclear to me, however, why maintaining fidelity to some traditional attributes of modern statehood places anyone in Schmitt's camp. I am also unconvinced that my position echoes Thomas Hobbes' (absolutist) model of state sovereignty. On the contrary, in the spirit of Rousseau, Kant, and many others, I instead follow Schmalz-Bruns in seeing at least some elements of modern statehood as essential to a sufficiently robust conception of popular sovereignty.
    • Jean L. Cohen, 'Whose Sovereignty? Empire Versus International Law', Ethics & International Affairs 18, no. 3 (2004): 14. For some of the recent debates on sovereignty in the context of the European Union, see Neil Walker, ed., 'Sovereignty in Transition' (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2003).
    • Jean L. Cohen, 'Whose Sovereignty? Empire Versus International Law', Ethics & International Affairs 18, no. 3 (2004): 14 5.
    • Ibid., 16.
    • Here as well, the 'Realist' Morgenthau still makes worthwhile reading: as he points out, the Swiss experience was highly idiosyncratic and probably can not be reproduced, and thus represents a poor model for thinking about global governance (Hans J. Morgenthau, 'Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Peace and Peace', 2nd ed. (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1954), 482 4).
    • Hauke Brunkhorst, 'State and Constitution A Reply to Scheuerman', Constellations 15, no.
    • Ibid., 494 5.
    • Hauke Brunkhorst, 'Cosmopolitanism and Democratic Freedom', in Normative and Sociological Approaches to Legality and Legitimacy, ed. Chris Thornhill and Samantha Ashenden (forthcoming). See, more generally, for the Kelsenian argument, Hauke Brunkhorst, 'Die globale Rechtsrevolution', in Rechtsstheorie in rechtspraktischer Absicht, ed. Ralph Christensen and Bodo Pieroth (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2007), 9 34; and Hauke Brunkhorst, 'Kritik am Dualismus des internatinalen Recht Hans Kelsen und die Vo¨ lkerrechtsrevolution des 20. Jahrhunderts', in Internationale Verrechtlichung. Nationale Demokratien im Zeitalter globaler Politik (Frankfurt: Campus, 2008), 30 63.
    • Hauke Brunkhorst, 'Die Legitimationskrise der Weltgesellschaft', in Weltstaat und Weltstaatlichkeit. Beobachtungen globaler politischer Strukturbildung, ed. Matthias Albert and Rudolf Stichweh (Wiesbaden: Verlag fu¨ r Sozialwissenschaften, 2007), 80 1; and Brunkhorst, 'Die globale Rechtsrevolution' in Rechtsstheorie in rechtspraktischer Absicht, ed. Ralph Christensen and Bodo Pieroth (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2007), 20.
    • Jeremy Waldron, 'Torture and the Positive Law: Jurisprudence for the White House', Columbia Law Review 105, no. 6 (2005): 1681 750.
    • John Herz, 'The Pure Theory of Law Revisited: Hans Kelsen's Doctrine of International Law in the Nuclear Age', in Law, State, and International Legal Order: Essays in Honor of Hans Kelsen, ed. Salo Engel and Rudolf A. Metall (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1964), 112.
    • Hans Kelsen, 'Law and Peace in International Relations' (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1948), 155 6.
    • For useful critical discussions, see John Herz, 'The Pure Theory of Law Revisited: Hans Kelsen's Doctrine of International Law in the Nuclear Age', in Law, State, and International Legal Order: Essays in Honor of Hans Kelsen, ed. Salo Engel and Rudolf A. Metall (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1964), 108 12; in a similar vein, Hedley Bull, 'Hans Kelsen and International Law', in Essays on Kelsen, ed. Richard Tur and William Twining (Oxford: Clarendon, 1986), 326 30.
    • John Herz, 'Political Realism and Political Idealism' (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1951), 99 102.
    • Bull, 'Kelsen and International Law', in Essays on Kelsen, ed. Richard Tur and William Twining (Oxford: Clarendon, 1986), 329 30.
    • In this vein see Jean L. Cohen, 'Whose Sovereignty? Empire Versus International Law', Ethics & International Affairs 18, no. 3 (2004), 1 24.
    • Phillip Schmitter, 'The Future of Democracy: A Matter of Scale?', Social Research 66 (1999): 933 58.
    • Interestingly, there has recently been a revival of serious theorizing among international relations scholars about the idea of a world state. Much of the debate is motored by a matter that rarely gets mentioned in recent critical theory work on globalization: the horrific possibility of nuclear omnicide. See, for example, Daniel H. Deudney, 'Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory From the Polis to the Global Village' (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007).
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