Wie sich Autorit├Ąt rechtfertigt: Expertise und demokratische Mehrheiten haben nur begrenzte normative Kraft

Weit verbreitet ist zurzeit das Argument, liberale Demokratien bef├Ąnden sich in einer Autorit├Ątskrise. Was aber ist damit gemeint? Ganz grunds├Ątzlich meint eine solche Krise, dass Autorit├Ątsbeziehungen erodieren. Das hei├čt, autoritative Behauptungen werden von ihren Adressaten nicht mehr als bindend anerkannt. Dies ist der Fall, wenn etablierte Rechtfertigungen des Autorit├Ątsanspruchs versagen oder infrage gestellt werden. Die derzeitige Autorit├Ątskrise kann als eine solche verstanden werden, in zweifacher Hinsicht: als eine Krise der Autorit├Ąt von Experten und als Krise einer spezifischen Form demokratischer Autorit├Ąt, Continue reading

Impeaching Remnants of the Authoritarian Past: A Constitutional Moment in South Korea

Last Friday, effective March 10 at exactly 11:21 a.m., the sitting President Park Geun-hye was removed from her office by a unanimous decision of the South Korean Constitutional Court. With public life coming to a standstill as eyes focused on TV and internet live broadcasting, the acting Chief Justice delivered the court decision. The conclusion of the constitutional impeachment procedure marked the climax of a transformative ongoing constitutional moment in South Korea. Continue reading

Filling the Vacancy left by Scalia: The Democratic Virtues of Delay

With the death of Antonin Scalia, a vacancy of considerable political import for the future direction of the court has opened up. The quick-minded and rhetorically gifted conservative judge not only often provided a critical 5:4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, he is also widely regarded as the intellectual leader of the conservative side of the legal establishment. With Presidential elections coming up later this year and the primaries in full swing, it has already become obvious, that appointing ScaliaÔÇÖs successor will not be an ordinary appointment process. Continue reading

“It Is True That Some Divisions Are Harmful to Republics and Some Are Helpful”: On Factions, Parties, and the History of a Controversial Distinction

Partisanship, it is often said, involves efforts to harness political power not for the benefit of one social group among several but for that of the polity as a whole, as this benefit is identified through a particular (but not partial) interpretation of the public good. In this sense partisan practices differ from the activity of factions, although for a very long time the two were assimilated to each other. Continue reading

Civil Liberty in Crisis? Evidence from a Comparative Empirical Study

Is there a fundamental trade-off between collective security and individual liberty? This question is by no means a new one for democratic societies. Long before the Islamist terror threat scenarios of the 2000s, Western democracies had been menaced by domestic terrorism, violent separatism, and organized crime and their reaction was always the same: security laws were tightened, new tools for keeping citizens under surveillance were created, the rights of suspects, accused persons, and convicts were restricted. Continue reading