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Habermas's Call for Cosmopolitan Constitutional Patriotism in an Age of Global Terror: A Pluralist Appraisal


Michel Rosenfeld


Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

May 1, 2006

Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 156

Abstract:     
In recent work, Habermas has provided a critical account of the trend towards transnational government and global governance in terms of his conception of communicative action and his discourse theory of law and ethics, expanding on his contribution in BETWEEN FACTS AND NORMS (Eng. Trans. 1996). Moreover, Habermas has also recently tackled global terrorism and evaluated it in terms of modernism and the continued viability of the Enlightenment project. Habermas does tie economic globalization and global terrorism, but does not believe that the latter is ultimately a manifestation of a clash of cultures. Instead Habermas regards global terrorism as an economically based reaction to the gross inequities perpetrated by globalization. Accordingly, Habermas regards global terrorism as arising from a breakdown of communication and as only amounting to an external threat to modernism. The article takes a critical look at Habermas's analysis and at his suggestion that the solution to the problem lies with expansion of the constitutional order beyond the nation-state through promotion of a cosmopolitan constitutional patriotism. Taking a pluralistic perspective, the article questions several of Habermas's assumptions and conclusions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

Keywords: Habermas, terrorism, constitutionalism

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Date posted: July 14, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Rosenfeld, Michel, Habermas's Call for Cosmopolitan Constitutional Patriotism in an Age of Global Terror: A Pluralist Appraisal (May 1, 2006). Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 156. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=917170 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.917170

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Michel Rosenfeld (Contact Author)
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )
55 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-790-0234 (Phone)
212-790-0205 (Fax)
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