Democracy and the Foreigner by Bonnie Honig

By Bonnie Honig

What should still we do approximately foreigners? may still we strive to cause them to extra like us or retain them at bay to guard our democracy, our tradition, our overall healthiness? This hassle underlies age-old debates approximately immigration, citizenship, and nationwide identification which are strikingly appropriate at the present time. In Democracy and the Foreigner, Bonnie Honig reverses the query: What difficulties may perhaps foreigners remedy for us? Hers isn't really a traditional procedure. rather than lauding the achievements of person foreigners, she probes a miles greater issue--the symbolic politics of foreignness. In doing so she indicates not just how our debates over foreignness support shore up our nationwide or democratic identities, yet how anxieties endemic to liberal democracy themselves animate ambivalence towards foreignness.

Central to Honig's arguments are tales that includes ''foreign-founders,'' during which the origins or revitalization of a humans rely on a foreigner's strength, advantage, perception, or legislations. From such renowned video clips because the Wizard of oz., Shane, and Strictly Ballroom to the biblical tales of Moses and Ruth to the parable of an immigrant the US, from Rousseau to Freud, foreignness is represented not only as a risk yet as a complement for groups periodically requiring renewal. Why? Why do humans inform tales within which their societies are depending on strangers?

One of Honig's such a lot magnificent conclusions is that an appreciation of the position of foreigners in (re)founding peoples works neither completely as a worldly nor a nationalist source. for instance, in the USA, nationalists see one archetypal foreign-founder--the naturalized immigrant--as reconfirming the attract of deeply held American values, while to cosmopolitans this immigrant represents the deeply transnational personality of yankee democracy. students and scholars of political idea, and all these considering the dilemmas democracy faces in accommodating distinction, will locate this publication wealthy with beneficial and stimulating insights.

Show description

Read or Download Democracy and the Foreigner PDF

Best political theory books

Scales of Justice: Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World (New Directions in Critical Theory)

Until eventually lately, struggles for justice proceeded opposed to the history of a taken-for-granted body: the bounded territorial nation. With that "Westphalian" photograph of political area assumed through default, the scope of justice was once hardly ever topic to open dispute. this day, although, human-rights activists and foreign feminists sign up for critics of structural adjustment and the realm alternate association in hard the view that justice can purely be a household relation between fellow voters.

Education Under Siege: The Conservative, Liberal and Radical Debate over Schooling

Public spending on schooling is lower than assault. during this difficult e-book Aronowitz and Giroux research the pondering in the back of that assault, within the united states and in different industrialized countries.


`Aronowitz & Giroux argue that feedback may be matched by way of a `discourse of possibilities'. Their publication admirably exemplifies this method. They strengthen a critique defying orthodoxy they usually supply college reforms which comprise, instead of brush aside, latest expert perform. .. a strong contribution to the emancipation of academic concept and education. ' - British academic learn magazine

Second Treatise of Government

Writer word: C. B. Macpherson (Editor)
Publish 12 months word: First released in 1690

The "Second Treatise" is likely one of the most vital political treatises ever written and of the main far-reaching in its impression. In his provocative 15-page creation to this variation, the past due eminent political theorist C. B. Macpherson examines Locke's arguments for restricted conditional executive, deepest estate, and correct of revolution and indicates purposes for the charm of those arguments in Locke's time and because.

"Macpherson presents for his readers a tightly written, meaty, and sometimes invigorating severe evaluation of Locke's argument. In it one reveals the very best of Macpherson's now recognized feedback of liberal-democratic govt. " Gregory E. Pcyrz in Canadian Philosophical overview

Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Indigenous Americas)

During the last 40 years, reputation has turn into the dominant mode of negotiation and decolonization among the geographical region and Indigenous countries in North the USA. The time period “recognition” shapes debates over Indigenous cultural specialty, Indigenous rights to land and self-government, and Indigenous peoples’ correct to learn from the advance in their lands and assets.

Additional info for Democracy and the Foreigner

Sample text

Rousseau’s text is performative in character. What if, rather than argue for the legitimation Rousseau seeks, Rousseau’s text tries to bring that legitimacy into being with an origin story? 59 The price of that exorcism is high: the introduction of the lawThe Foreigner as Founder 37 giver-scapegoat and the erasure of the people’s miraculously successful willing of the General Will. Perhaps the greatest virtue of this reading is that the foreignness of Rousseau’s lawgiver suddenly makes sense.

That Rousseau, a xenophobic theorist of self-identity, should himself rely on the figure of the foreign-founder shows just how inescapable and thoroughgoing is this sense of the law’s alien character, even in a particularly well-ordered regime, which is what Rousseau thought he was theorizing in the Social Contract. Indeed, Rousseau knew this: noting that the task of the legislator is to “change human nature,” Rousseau says that in order to do this the legislator must “deny man his own forces in order to give him forces that are alien [in another translation, the term—“e´trange`res” in the original—is rendered “foreign”] to him and that he cannot make use of without the help of others” (Book II, Chapter 7; emphasis added).

Out to discredit “ascriptive mythologies that can easily become demonologies,” Smith produces an argument that is itself demonological in structure. The many violent crimes and injustices that mark American national history are not essential to its character as a partly liberal democratic regime. Those violences come from elsewhere, from other parts of the American polity. Ascriptive ideologies distinct from liberalism are responsible for the nativist, sexist, and racist citizenship laws and arguments catalogued by Smith.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.93 of 5 – based on 42 votes