What Everybody Dislikes About Media Influences Essay And Why
Once these two points are conceded, the question becomes when, and forwhat reason, the recognition of particular rights is either justifiedor illegitimate. This discussion is necessarily context specific,focusing on concrete demands made by groups in particularcircumstances, and shies away from easy generalizations. It has led toan array of publications covering issues ranging from the fate of‘minorities within minorities’ to how tolerant liberalsocieties should be of illiberal groups, etc.
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Both supporters and critics of (more) open borders agree that liberaldemocratic political communities have a moral status and are worthpreserving. They disagree over what exactly is worthy of protectionand how much weight should be given to securing their integrity(however it is defined) relative to our duties of internationaljustice.
The emergence of human rights instruments at the international andtransnational levels has lent some credibility to the perspective of adeterritorialization of rights regimes and the possibility of securinga person’s basic rights irrespective of her formal membershipstatus in a given polity. In this context, it is not in virtue of our(particular) citizenship that we are recognized rights, but in virtueof our (universal) personhood.
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It might be argued, however, that the development of transnationaladvocacy networks shows that the sceptics’ criticisms areoverstated. These networks are proof that it is possible forindividuals to exercise political agency in forums other than thoseprovided by democratic states and that the absence of a commonvernacular does not impede participation. Global democracy becomesthinkable once we focus on the development of transnational civilsociety rather than on the transposing of representative institutionsat the global level. In response, it should be noted that suchnetworks coalesce around a common ideology or conception of the good(e.g. the environment; rights of indigenous peoples, critique ofneo-liberal forms of globalisation, etc.), which serves as afunctional equivalent to a common vernacular. More important, thesenetworks are composed of voluntary associations organized aroundshared interests and cannot stand as a surrogate for the politicalcommunity per se, which acts as the addressee of claims madeby the organisations and groups of civil society.
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Sceptics of global democracy have worked to identify basic backgroundconditions to democratic institutions and procedures while showingthat they cannot be satisfied beyond a certain threshold. Theirargument is empirical, rather than conceptual. A common language isone plausible candidate put forward by Will Kymlicka. He insists thatlinguistic/territorial political associations are the primary forumfor democratic participation, rather than higher-level politicalassociations that cut across linguistic lines, because democraticpolitics is essentially “politics in the vernacular”(Kymlicka 1999, 121). Even in cases where average citizens are conversant in one or moreforeign language, they rarely have the level of fluency necessary toparticipate in political debate in a language other than their own:only a select few have the ability and opportunity to acquire andsustain the necessary language skills. Political debate inmultilingual settings is essentially an elitist pursuit.
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Which political community or communities can act as the addressee ofclaims made by organisations of transnational civil society? If oneanswers national political communities and their formal institutions,one agrees with Kymlicka that: “the weak transnationalism ofadvocacy networks is predicated on, even parasitic on, the ongoingexistence of bounded political communities” (Kymlicka 2003,291). Surely, we cannot point to a constituted cosmopolitan politicalcommunity, which as yet does not exist and, if the sceptics are to bebelieved, has very little chances of ever coming into existence. Ifthis is right, then the organisations of an emerging transnationalcivil society can offer possibilities of political agency for certaincommitted individuals and groups, but they do not offer a solution tothe problem posed by the extension of democratic citizenship to theglobal level.