February 22, 2011

· Politics

Via Shehzad Nadeem at OrgTheory comes this report on Muammar el-Gaddafi’s son and the Ph.D in Political Theory he wrote at the LSE in 2008, who as it happens also accepted a pledge of £1.5m from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, which Saif ran. Gaddafi the Younger’s thesis, which you can read in its entirety if you like is titled “The Role of Civil Society in the Democratisation of Global Governance Institutions: From ‘Soft Power’ to Collective Decision-making?” In it, he argues that,

inclusion of elected representatives of non- governmental organisations (NGOs) in tripartite decision-making structures could potentially create a more democratic global governing system. … the thesis argues that there are strong motivations for free individuals to seek fair terms of cooperation within the necessary constraints of being members of a global society. Drawing on the works of David Hume, John Rawls and Ned McClennen, it elaborates significant self-interested and moral motives that prompt individuals to seek cooperation on fair terms if they expect others to do so. Secondly, it supports a theory of global justice, rejecting the limits of Rawls’s view of international justice based on what he calls ‘peoples’ rather than persons. Thirdly, the thesis adopts and applies David Held’s eight cosmopolitan principles to support the concept and specific structures of ‘Collective Management’.

He goes on to say that,

The core aim of the thesis, then, is to explore the potential for the concept of Collective Management to develop a more democratic, morally justified system of global governance that recognises the rights of individuals … and is particularly focused on empowering civil society organizations (CSOs) to give a stronger voice to those currently under-represented in the existing system

From here it is only a short few steps to the view that when push comes to shove, blood will run in the streets and you and your family will fight to the last bullet. I think there’s a passage in A Theory of Justice that can be read as endorsing this claim.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.

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