Abstracts

 

Politica, Bind 32 (2000) 4

Abstracts

Lars Bo Kaspersen

Society as a Political Science Problem

Most theory within social sciences has society as the unit of analysis. Despite many different ways of conceiving the problem of social order society, we find a common aspect embedded in all theories: Society is conditioned by and determined by its inner elements. An examination of Hobbcs, Rousseau, Hegel Marx. Durkheim and Weber reveals a special problem which is related to an understanding of society as a fusion of its internal elements: The problem is to explain why societies are demarcated in relation to each other. Such a theoretical explanation requires another perspective which is inspired by Weber, Hegel, Clausewitz and Carl Schmitt.

Carsten Bagge Laustsen and Jacob Als Thomsen

Fear and Trembling - Carl Schmitt's Reading of Thomas Hobbes

The radical conservative legal scholar and political thinker Carl Schmitt has been called the Hobbesian of the 20th century. The article discusses Schmitt's reading of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, and analyzes the role of Hobbes' political theory in Schmitt's critique of liberalism. In addition, Schmitt's authoritarian view on the state and his radical definition of the political as the ability to distinguish between friend and enemy is discussed. Also Schmitt's collaboration with the Nazi Regime is debated in relation to his inspiration from Hobbcs. Finally, we shall discuss Schmitt's contemporary relevance by way of Derrida's analyses of aporetic elements in Schmitt's thinking.

Søren Flinch Miaigaarcl
Recent Contract Theory

Contemporary contract theory uses hypothetical constructs. Such constructs give rise to principles for the authoritative distribution of benefits and burdens in society. Contract theory is, in fact, a misnomer. „Moral constructivism" is more appropriate. Two central strands in this tradition are Hobbesian constructivism and Kantian constructivism. It is unclear, however, that the former succeeds in grounding moral principles in a satisfactory way. The latter does not appear to have the same fundamental problem, but is. of course, controversial in other ways not covered by this article.

Side 495

Morlen Feilberg Greve

European Institution Building Outside the Shadow of Leviathan?
Judicial Integration in the EU

For several decades, the European integration process attracted modest scholarly interest, but since the late 1980s, integration theory has experienced a powerful revitalization. However, this essay argues that the explanatory purchase of important segments of current integration research is limited by its continuing reliance on „Hobbesian" meta-theoretical premises which are misleading in view of the character and development of modem society. Thus, the purpose of this argument is to examine the possibility of gaining fresh empirical insights via a rethinking of key ontological premises.

Anders Branth Pedersen

Design of Green Taxes in Scandinavia. CO2 Taxes and the Alliance
Between Capital and Workers

A comparative analysis of CO, taxes in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark that the taxes, though different, have something in common: Industry pays a considerably lower tax than other sectors due to reduction and reimbursement The main reason is that a strong alliance, consisting of industrial interest groups and dominant organizations within trade unions, fights fiercely against the taxes. The capital-worker alliance is successful, partly because there is only weak opposition from environmental organizations, partly because the alliance is so broad that it enjoys political support from Social Democratic parties well as from right-wing-parties. If industry is not supported by trade unions, it risks high taxes under Social Democratic governments.

Christian Albrekt Larsen

Size of Municipalities and Democracy - a Critical Analysis of the
Assumptions Behind the Argument of Nearness

In recent years, it has been discussed whether the number of municipalities should be reduced. The discussion has focused on the classic trade-off between sustainability and nearness. In other terms, the trade-off between efficiency and democracy. The assumptions behind both arguments can nevertheless be discussed and questioned. A very large quantitative material from Kommunedata new possibilities of analysing the assumptions behind the argument of nearness. In concordance with previous research, the analysis shows that participation is higher in small municipalities. However, there is no connexion between size and the citizens' interest in and knowledge about local politics. Nor is there a connexion between size and the citizens' trust in the municipal council. These conclusions are surprising in relation to previous Danish research.

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