Democracy and Reaction by L. T. Hobhouse

By L. T. Hobhouse

Bankruptcy I the varsity OF COBDEN D URING SOlne twenty, or it can be thirty years, a vave of .reaction has unfold over the civilised Vorla and invaded one division after one other of idea and motion. this is often no unparalleled prevalence. within the onvard moveluent of luankind historical past indicates us each one fOIVard step through a pause, and too frequently by way of a backsliding in vhich luuch of the floor received is misplaced. Of the explanations of this virtually rhythmical, but tragic, alternation we all know little. Sometilnes it vould SeelTI that the forces accrued jointly to r81ll0Ve a few obstruction which without delay blocks increase develop into themselves a challenge to extra lTIOVement. occasionally the tips which fill one iteration vith enthusiasm seem as if spent and worn 1...

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The (sovereign) state and the international law order are social constructs. Chapter four examines evidence that international law is undergoing a process of reconstruction (or ‘constitutionalisation’), moving beyond the proceduralist paradigm, based on sovereign consent, to a public (international) law governance model that embraces substantive values. This is reflected in the normative hierarchy of international law (norms of jus cogens standing and obligations erga omnes) and acceptance of the UN as an autonomous international organisation that operates without any requirement of consent by states subject to its authority.

Following an analysis of the forms that the democratic deficit critique has taken in the literature, the work then examines the responses that have emerged: that domestic democracy is protected by an affirmation of the principle of state sovereignty; that global democracy requires a global democratic state; that we should imagine the international community as a global democratic federation, with the principle of democracy applied at each level; that (following Immanuel Kant and John Rawls) global democratic law can only be achieved through the establishment of a democratic peace; that the globalisation and fragmentation of global regulatory functions must be reconfigured in accordance with the idea of cosmopolitan democratic law; that there is a need to democratise international institutions, notably through the greater use of international parliamentary bodies and accountability mechanisms; and finally, the need to challenge the communicative power of dominant global discourses by allowing the effective participation of international non-governmental organisations and other civil society actors in the practice of global governance.

The deliberative model allows us to evaluate the legitimacy of laws without recourse to (contested) subjective values, which themselves would need to be justified in terms that reasonable persons might accept to avoid claims of elitism, imperialism or that only certain arguments were valid. THE DEMOCRATIC LEGITIMACY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW The aim of this work is to give an account of the modern system of international law that operates in world society. The argument is for a different reading of the system, not its reconstruction.

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