The Law of Majorities: A Rejoinder

This has been an instructive discussion that has shed light on some of the most pressing issues of our time. Overall, there is an agreement on the existence of the social entity of the “majority group,” although less on the criteria to identify a majority. Some interesting disagreements are found on the empirical question – whether the majority culture is indeed “needy” (how much, in which field, etc.) – and on the normative question: whether a culturally needy majority should be granted a right to defend its constitutional identity in the immigration context.

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Anticipatory minority rights for majorities turning into minorities

Concerns about national, cultural and demographic preservation have become increasingly salient in the age of migrations and globalisation. Liav Orgad fittingly points to recent political reactions to the influx of refugees in Europe and to broader trends towards relinking citizenship and migration policies with concerns about national identity and cultural integration. He is right to complain about the reluctance among political theorists to engage systematically with these developments. I fully agree with Orgad that ignoring these issues is both “theoretically wrong” and “politically unwise”. However, I disagree that majorities have special majority rights that can be defended on the same normative basis as minority rights. I argue that if a current majority group is worried about its rights, it should genuinely support minority rights in anticipation of its future minority status.

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Immigration, Majority Rights, and Welfare State Solidarity

Liav Orgad’s new book, The Cultural Defense of Nations, could hardly have appeared at a more opportune moment. It represents a systematic effort to grapple with the core issues of national identity so much on the agenda of both the classical and new lands of immigration. It seeks to do so within the framework of liberal political and social theory while turning our sympathies toward majority cultures facing the “threat” of lost identity and dominance, a loss being brought about by both immigration and the multiculturalist policies of the past generation.

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Das TTIP-Gericht: Keimzelle oder Stolperstein für echte Multilateralisierung des internationalen Investitionsrechts?

Am 12. November 2015 hat die Kommission ihren offiziellen Verhandlungsvorschlag für die Etablierung eines permanenten Investitionsgerichts im Rahmen des Transatlantischen Handels- und Investitionsabkommen (TTIP) vorgelegt. Der Vorschlag ist couragiert und richtungsweisend und stellt einen historischen Wendepunkt im Denken um das internationale Investitionsrecht dar. Trotz seines Leitcharakters leidet der Kommissionsvorschlag jedoch als Basis für eine grundlegende und globale Reform des internationalen Investitionsrechts an konzeptionellen Schwächen.

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