Injustice: Political Theory for the Real World
This book challenges the conventional approach to problems of injustice in global normative theory. It offers a radical alternative designed to transform our thinking about what kind of problem injustice is and to show how political theorists might do better in understanding and addressing it. Michael Goodhart argues that the dominant paradigm, ideal moral theory (IMT), takes a fundamentally wrong-headed approach to injustice. At the same time, leading alternatives to IMT struggle to make sense of the role values play in politics and abandon political theory’s critical and prescriptive aspirations. Goodhart treats justice claims as ideological and develops an innovative bifocal theoretical framework for making sense of them. This framework reconciles realistic political analysis with substantive normative commitments, enabling theorists to come to grips with injustice as a political rather than a philosophical problem. The book describes the work that political theory and political theorists can do to combat injustice and illustrates its key arguments through a novel reconceptualization of responsibility for injustice.
Praise for Injustice
“This is an exceptional book. It is smart, fearless, and takes on an important question. Goodhart directly and stridently takes on the dominate ways of framing the problems of global injustice. My hope for the field is that those who work on these questions in a more analytic vein will take up Goodhart’s insights and framing.”
—Brooke Ackerly, author of Just Responsibility
“Injustice is an original and sophisticated contribution to one of the most widely-discussed topics in contemporary politics. Offering a sustained challenge to conventional normative approaches to the subject, Michael Goodhart has written a welcome, provocative, and compelling manifesto for a critical social science of injustice. This is an impressive achievement.”
—Duncan Bell, University of Cambridge
“Any political theorist who has ever struggled with the futility of her own work must read this book! Michael Goodhart has written a refreshing, clear-headed, and unapologetic book for a generation of political theorists grown weary of analytic hair-splitting and political irrelevance in face of the concrete injustices across the globe. Here, Goodhart rejects the reflective pursuit of spotless principles among practitioners of ‘ideal moral theory’, as well as attempts by ‘realists’ and ‘non-idealists’ to get more real-and offers an alternative paradigm that is ‘bifocal’ in its approach and ’emancipatory’ in its aims-fusing ideological critique with substantive normative engagement, to support political opposition to real practices of domination, exploitation and oppression.”
—Fonna Forman, Director, Center on Global Justice, University of California, San Diego
Democracy as Human Rights: Freedom and Equality in the Age of Globalization
Democracy has traditionally been understood to apply within and pertain to states. Globalization prompts theorists, politicians, and citizens alike to reconsider this traditional view, to think about whether and how democracy might work beyond states. Cosmopolitan democrats propose extending democratic institutions and procedures to the global level, while advocates of state reinforcement call for rejecting and resisting globalization to preserve democracy. I argue that neither approach is likely to succeed because neither adequately grasps how deeply democracy’s meaning and its practice have been affected by its complex historical and conceptual ties with the sovereign state. In this book I argue that globalization challenges not just the borders, scope, and reach of modern democracy but also its very essence. I establish this claim through an original, critical reading of democracy’s relationship with sovereignty and offer a novel reinterpretation of core democratic principles informed by that history and designed to meet the exigencies of an age of globalization.
Praise for Democracy as Human Rights
“Michael Goodhart has written a powerful critique of contemporary theories of democracy….His alternative, based on the universal value of fundamental human rights, is developed with great energy and ingenuity. This book will be controversial, but all concerned with democracy and human rights under conditions of globalization will be challenged by it to rethink what ‘democracy’ can mean in our time.
—Michael Freeman, Research Professor of Government, University of Essex
“Michael Goodhart seeks to replace the paradoxical conception of sovereign democracy – which both precludes and requires supranational governance – with the concept of democracy as human rights. Democracy as Human Rights is a major rethinking of democratic theory for an age of globalization.”
—Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Social Movements and World-System Transformation, edited by Jackie Smith, Michael Goodhart, Patrick Manning, and John Markoff
At a particularly urgent world-historical moment, this volume brings together some of the leading researchers of social movements and global social change and other emerging scholars and practitioners to advance new thinking about social movements and global transformation. Social movements around the world today are responding to crisis by defying both political and epistemological borders, offering alternatives to the global capitalist order that are imperceptible through the modernist lens. Informed by a world-historical perspective, contributors explain today’s struggles as building upon the experiences of the past while also coming together globally i ways that are inspiring innovation and consolidating new thinking about what a fundamentally different, more equitable, just, and sustainable world order might look like.
This collection offers new insights into contemporary movements for global justice, challenging readers to appreciate how modernist thinking both colors our own observations and complicates the work of activists seeking to resolve inequities and contradictions that are deeply embedded in Western cultural traditions and institutions. Contributors consider today’s movements in the longue durée—that is, they ask how Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and other contemporary struggles for liberation reflect, build upon, or diverge from anti-colonial and other emancipatory struggles of the past. Critical to this volume is its exploration of how divisions over gender equity and diversity of national cultures and class have impacted what are increasingly intersectional global movements. The contributions of feminist and indigenous movements come to the fore in this collective exploration of what the movements of yesterday and today can contribute to our ongoing effort to understand the dynamics of global transformation in order to help advance a more equitable, just, and ecologically sustainable world.
Human Rights: Politics and Practice, 3rd edition, edited by Michael Goodhart
Human Rights: Politics and Practice is the first comprehensive textbook for politics students. It offers an unparalleled breadth and depth of coverage, with 23 purpose-written chapters authored by a diverse team of international experts. Eight core chapters introduce the main theoretical issues and challenges in the study of human rights as a political phenomenon, addressing normative foundations, feminist and activist approaches, international relations, international law, comparative politics, sociological and anthropological approaches, contemporary critiques of human rights, and issues in measuring and monitoring rights. Fifteen thematic chapters offer detailed analysis and case studies of key issues in the politics and practice of human rights, including chapters on religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, human trafficking, forced migration, indigenous peoples’ human rights, humanitarian intervention, and the environment, among others. These chapters illustrate normative, empirical, legal, critical, and policy-oriented approaches, allowing students to deepen their theoretical understanding while learning about important contemporary developments in the field. This text is ideal for advanced undergraduates or beginning masters students. An extensive array of online resources enhances student learning and provides valuable support for lecturers.
Praise for Human Rights: Politics and Practice
“This wide-ranging, thoughtful collection provides a state-of-the-art introduction to the key debates on human rights. The chapters are deep yet accessible, and overall convey a strong sense of the stakes and implications alongside the principles and institutions.”
—Alison Brysk, Mellichamp Chair in Global Governance, Global and International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
“The best comprehensive text I have found for an introductory human rights course.”
—Jeff Bachmann, American University
“Goodhart has complied an invaluable resource: a text that draws top human rights scholars from multiple fields into a vibrant conversation with students. This text sets the standard for excellent in human rights teaching.”
—Shareen Hertel, editor, Journal of Human Rights, University of Connecticut
Human Rights in the 21st Century: Continuity and Change since 9/11, edited by Michael Goodhart and Anja Mihr
Human Rights in the 21st Century challenges the familiar idea that ‘everything changed’ after 9/11. Leading international human rights scholars assess continuity and change in the international human rights regime in the 21st century, analyzing compliance and violations, normative and political discourses, legal and institutional developments at the national, regional, and international levels, and developments in the non-state sector. Written from diverse methodological perspectives, the volume provides rich and varied insights on vital questions concerning the resiliency, weaknesses, and prospects of human rights today.