Democracy, Emergency, and Arbitrary Coercion

A Liberal Republican View


States of emergency are declared by governments with alarming frequency. When they are declared, it is taken for granted that their nature is understood. This book argues against this established view. Instead, the view advanced here analyzes what makes emergencies different from other types of similar events. Defending a hybrid liberal/republican approach, the book proposes that states of emergency are in fact poorly understood and therefore needlessly mismanaged when they occur. This mismanagement leads to a troubling derogation of established liberal democratic rights in the name of an unattainable form of hollow security. Further, the book argues that the existing rights of citizens ought to be defended (and not simply derogated) during states of emergency. Failure to do so is failure to comply with the formal values of liberal democracy
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Biographical Note

Nick C. Sagos holds a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from the University of Montreal. He studied at McGill University, The New School for Social Research, and Concordia University. He is published in Transactions of the C.S. Peirce Society and is a contributor to American Philosophy: An Encyclopedia.

Table of contents

Two Philosophical Ideals of Liberal Democracy  1
1 Constitutional Democracy and the Issue of Emergency  13
The Paradox of Emergency 13
Derogation and Coercion during (Liberal) Emergencies 20
Emergency: Its Character and Literature 25
Emergencies as a Conceptual Problem 32
Emergencies Defined via Minimalist Criteria 36
The Misuse of Emergency Legislation 39
Emergencies, Rules, and Parameters 41
The Arbitrary Nature of Emergency and Its Neglect 44
A Summary of Criticisms 52
Toward Progressive Judicial Avenues: Against the Status Quo 54
2 Law and the Concept of Emergency  60
Law’s Role in Emergencies 60
The Extra-Legal Measures Model 62
The Judicial Accommodations Model 71
Emergency as Law and Idea: Four Categories 79
3 Formal and Informal Emergency  97
Supreme and Informal Emergency 97
Walzer on Supreme Emergencies 98
Lazar on Informal Structures and Emergency: Emergencies
Redefined 102
Emergencies, Citizens, and Dualist Constitutionalism 118
4 Catastrophe and Emergency  130
Crisis, Catastrophe, and Emergency Distinguished 130
Disasters and Catastrophes 134
Constitutions, Societies, and Emergencies 137
Emergencies on Their Own Terms 148
Thematic Review and Summary 163
5 Institutions, Rights, and Emergencies  184
Notes on Methodology 209
Bibliography  216
Index  220


Liberalism, democracy, coercion, ethics, political philosophy, political theory, institutes, academic libraries, public libraries, specialists, undergraduate and graduate students, educated laymen, criminologists, sociologists, legal theorists, public policy administrators, political scientists, federal judges, crisis management.      


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