UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS AS A SHARED POLITICAL IDENTITY IMPOSSIBLE? NECESSARY? SUFFICIENT?
Version of Record online: 18 FEB 2009
© 2009 The Author. Journal compilation © 2009 Metaphilosophy LLC and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Special Issue: GLOBAL DEMOCRACY AND EXCLUSION. GUEST EDITORS RONALD TINNEVELT AND HELDER DE SCHUTTER
Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 77–91, January 2009
How to Cite
FØLLESDAL, A. (2009), UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS AS A SHARED POLITICAL IDENTITY IMPOSSIBLE? NECESSARY? SUFFICIENT?. Metaphilosophy, 40: 77–91. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2009.01567.x
- Issue online: 18 FEB 2009
- Version of Record online: 18 FEB 2009
- David Miller;
- human rights;
- Jürgen Habermas;
- political identity;
Abstract: Would a global commitment to international human rights norms provide enough of a sense of community to sustain a legitimate and sufficiently democratic global order? Sceptics worry that human rights cannot help maintain the mutual trust among citizens required for a legitimate political order, since such rights are now too broadly shared. Thus prominent contributors to democratic theory insist that the members of the citizenry must share some features unique to them, to the exclusion of others—be it a European identity (Habermas and Derrida 2003) or a national public culture generally shared only by the members (Miller 1995, 2000). This essay considers and rejects these arguments. While stable, democratic redistributive arrangements do require trust and institutionalised means of trustworthiness; they need not rely on norms or values that distinguish members from non-members: such exclusion is not required. Thus human rights may be part of a common political identity.