Here are a number of texts I am currently working on (provided I can find the time), drafts with which I am far from satisfied at the moment. For links to texts that have alrready been published, please see my résumé.
Note To view PDF files, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or later. In many cases, your computer will already have this software installed. If not, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader free of charge from Adobe's website.
You are free to read, download or print any of these texts for personal use, and I positively welcome any comments you may have (that is why I placed them here) but please do not quote a word from them without asking me first.
My email address is M.Wissenburg@fm.ru.nl. Thanks.
Another nail in the coffin
Download as PDF (34 KB)
First version of a text discussed with trainee diplomats at the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The text discusses the recent Association Agreement between the EU and Chile from a political philosophical perspective. I argue that modern international treaties (as illustrated by this Agreement) highlight the increasing rift between legal and actual sovereignty. Treaties are on the one hand attempts to maintain or regain state control over political and economic affairs, yet on the other undermine the actual power of states. Hence, every new treaty is another nail in the coffin of the sovereign state - but whether we should mourn about the demise of sovereignty remains to be seen.
John Rawls and Liberal Elitism
Download as PDF (156 KB)
This version of a still developing text was published in Japanese in 2007. It discusses the idea of an overlapping consensus as introduced by the late and very, very, very great John Rawls. In it, I voice my suspicion that an overlapping consensus between reasonable doctrines of the good life, Rawls' basis for the justification of a liberal order, presupposes citizens who do not just have 'opinions' but have gone through formative experiences that forced them to truly develop well-examined convictions. Implicitly, I suspect that liberalism as a political philosophy of emancipation was and must remain elitist.
Liberalism and the ecological challenge
Download as PDF (81 KB)
Technically speaking, this text is already finished. What you see here are the proofs (with only minor errors) of a chapter that appeared in August 2006 in Andrew Dobson & Robyn Eckersley, Political Theory and the Ecological Challenge (Cambridge University Press). For those of you who can read Russian, an updated and extended version of this text appeared in Politicheskaya Nauka, 2010 (2), under the title ЛИБЕРАЛИЗМ И ПРИРОДА (‘Liberalism and Nature’).
Two concepts of political order
Download as PDF (220 KB)
This is the final product of the Political Plurality and Moral Pluralism project on which I worked from roughly 2005 to 2012. Two concepts started life as a public lecture sketching in extremely broad strikes the gist of my argument in Political Pluralism and the State (2008). It discusses the remarkable prejudice of even liberal political theorists for assuming order to be valuable and hierarchically imposed, while I argue that a more libertarian approach in which order is designed, preferably consciously, bottom-up, would be normatively more consistent and, for empirical research, a valuable addition to existing explanatory schemes. The referees and I agree: it is not the kind of text that fits in a journal – too many ideas covered too superficially. Still, it might annoy you enough to consult the book for elucidation, and that will make my publisher happy to no extent – given the ridiculous prices publishers charge for hardcover books these days.