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«Conference 16–18 Nov 2011 Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin The Concept of Human Dignity in a Transatlantic Perspective. Foundations and Variations A ...»

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Thus, one can establish as a result that article 1(1), clause 1, of the Basic Law (“Human dignity is inviolable.”) does not exclude balancing. Nevertheless, we can talk about protection in an absolute sense under ordinary circumstances. This result is based on the fact that there is a very large set of conditions of priority for the principle of human dignity together with virtual certainty, namely, that when these conditions obtain, the principle enjoys priority over competing principles.

45 Recht im Kontext Conference Nov 2011 The Concept of Human Dignity in a Transatlantic Perspective tIm wIhl Undergraduate studies of law, philosophy and political science (Cologne, Berlin).

First state exam in law, Berlin, 2009.

Research Assistant, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Chair Prof. Möllers, since 2009.

Work on a PhD thesis in constitutional theory, topic: Equality and temporality in human rights law.

Recent publications include:

— Egalitärer Minimalkonstitutionalismus. Gleichheit als notwendige und hinreichende Bedingung des demokratischen Verfassungsstaats (forthcoming in „Gleichheit und Universalität“, Stuttgart: Steiner 2011).

— Freiheit als Unwert? Verwandlungen des Völkerrechts aus liberaler Perspektive, in: Christian Tomuschat (ed.), Weltordnungsmodelle für das 21. Jahrhundert. Völkerrechtliche Perspektiven. Baden-Baden: Nomos 2009.

— Der Idealstatus der Menschenrechte, in: Der Staat 2009, 2, 193 ff.

Progressive human dignity?

Whereas one can legitimately claim that liberal human dignity is withering, the paper puts forward a republican conception of dignity which stands ready to take over.

Demarcating the role of dignity among the three foundational principles of constitutional theory, liberty, equality and dignity, the paper classifies dignity as an abstract universal. This makes it a prime candidate for an idealist, anticipatory paradigm of rights.

Human dignity is a collective endeavor. It will be reached if liberal orthodoxy is defied and rights are interpreted as speech- and equality-related ideas instead of property-like substance.

Approximating the rights utopia of human dignity is the republican objective of democratic decision-making.

This conception defies every quest for certitude (in theory), but it is worth a try (in praxis). And it is, arguably, superior to the correspondence, coherence or consensus theories of the liberal tradition.

46 Recht im Kontext Conference Nov 2011 The Concept of Human Dignity in a Transatlantic Perspective leA yPI is a lecturer in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is interested in theories of justice, citizenship, the philosophy of the Enlightenment (especially Kant), and the intellectual history of the Balkans. Her work has appeared in, among others, The Journal of Political Philosophy, Philosophy and Public Affairs, and American Political Science Review. Her book “Global Justice and Avant-Garde Political Agency” is coming out this year with Oxford University Press.

47 Recht im Kontext Conference Nov 2011 The Concept of Human Dignity in a Transatlantic Perspective supported by Recht im Kontext Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin Wallotstraße 19 14193 Berlin www. rechtimkontext.de

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