Carmen Pavel argues in this excellent study that states are not by themselves sufficient to guarantee protection of basic human rights. In this sense, the state is, as she puts it, an incomplete institutional form. Therefore, it is appropriate to adopt a political system in which sovereignty is divided between states and international institutions, such as the International Criminal Court, whose purpose is to avoid states’ abusing their power by depriving their citizens of those rights. She conceives such a division of sovereignty as “an insurance scheme against the possibility that states may fail to fulfill their duties” to protect rights (p. 27). Such a division of sovereignty increases the probability that individuals will have their rights respected.
In addition to this substantive argument, Pavel makes an important methodological argument. Theorizing about justice is too often stuck at the abstract level. The work of theorists should embrace what Pavel calls institutional thinking, which includes the understanding of empirical social science on the effectiveness of institutions in human governance. Such an understanding is important not merely for the implementation of abstract moral ideals but for their formulation as well. Our theories must be sensitive to institutional facts. This leads her in a pragmatic direction. In the end, s
To continue reading, see options above.
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
Primaries and Conventions for 2020
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: EXTENDING THE U.S. UMBRELLA AND INCREASING CHANCES OF WAR
The Greater Good Gathering: Technology, Community, and the Greater Good
February 6–7, 2019
New York, NY
The Greater Good Gathering conference explored the future of public policy and how best to advance the greater good in the 21st century in light of technological innovation, economic disruption, ideological polarization, and governance challenges.MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.