Does Heterogeneity Hinder Democracy?

Does Heterogeneity Hinder Democracy?

Wolfgang Merkel (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung) and Brigitte Weiffen (University of Konstanz) have published an interesting empirical article on the complex relationship between heterogeneity and democratization in Comparative Sociology, Volume 11, Number 3, 2012. The article is now available for download at Merkel’s webpage: Does Heterogeneity Hinder Democracy? [PDF] Here is the abstract: Research linking heterogeneity and democracy usually focuses on one single dimension ...

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Genealogies of Sovereignty in Islamic Political Theology

Genealogies of Sovereignty in Islamic Political Theology

Andrew March (Yale) has posted Genealogies of Sovereignty in Islamic Political Theology on SSRN. The paper is forthcoming in Social Reseasrch. Andrew March is the author of Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus (OUP 2009). Here is the abstract: The events that hastily came to be called “The Arab Spring” have done much to reopen the ...

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Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights

Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights

Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights Edited by Ryan Goodman, Derek Jinks and Andrew K. Woods. Published by Oxford University Press. Oct 2012. Description: In Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights, editors Ryan Goodman, Derek Jinks, and Andrew K. Woods bring together a stellar group of contributors from across the social sciences to apply a broad yet conceptually unified array ...

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Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi Awarded the Sakharov Prize

Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi Awarded the Sakharov Prize

The European Union’s annual Sakharov prize has gone to two Iranians noted for their opposition to the Iranian government. The imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and banned film director Jafar Panahi, are this year’s joint winners of the Sakharov Prize. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named in honor of the Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, has been ...

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Conference Panel: The Iranian People’s Quest for Democracy

Conference Panel: The Iranian People’s Quest for Democracy

Panel discussion during NIAC’s Leadership Conference in October 2012 on “The Iranian People’s Quest for Democracy – The Role of the Diaspora”. The panelists discuss three questions: Can change inside Iran happen? Is democratization a possibility? And what’s the role of the Iranian diaspora in this quest for democracy?

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Joseph Raz on Reason to Keep Promises

Joseph Raz on Reason to Keep Promises

Professor Joseph Raz has posted Is There a Reason to Keep Promises? at SSRN. Here is the abstract: If promises are binding there must be a reason to do as one promised. The paper is motivated by belief that there is a difficulty in explaining what that reason is. It arises because the reasons that promising creates are content-independent. Similar ...

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Nasrin Sotoudeh Launches a Hunger Strike

Nasrin Sotoudeh Launches a Hunger Strike

According to reports from Tehran, the imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoodeh has started a hunger strike today to protest refusal on the part of prison authorities to allow for in person and regular visits with her children and other family members. Nasrin Sotoodeh who is currently serving a 6 year prison term has been in prison since September ...

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Why Tolerate Religion?

Why Tolerate Religion?

Princeton University Press has released Brian Leiter’s provocative essay, Why Tolerate Religion?. The text incorporates—”with significant revisions to the account of religion”—material from two earlier articles he published on this subject: “Why Tolerate Religion?” in Constitutional Commentary 25 (2008), and “Foundations of Religious Liberty: Toleration or Respect“, in San Diego Law Review 47 (2010). Brian Leiter is the Karl N. ...

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Thinking on Transitional Justice in Iran

Transitional justice is the conception of justice associated with periods of political change. It was historically developed within the paradigm of international human rights laws: the pursuit of justice for atrocious violations of human rights, often of a systematic nature, committed by former regimes, typically dictatorial or authoritarian regimes and leaders who have been deposed. More generally, transitional justice is ...

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New UN Report on Human Rights Violations in Iran

New UN Report on Human Rights Violations in Iran

The U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, has released his third report on the Islamic Republic’s widespread human rights violations (For his second report see my post here). The report provides “a deeply troubling picture of the overall human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including many concerns which are systemic in nature,” Shaheed ...

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