The Mandate of Dignity

9780823268108: Hardback
Release Date: 1st February 2016

9780823268115: Paperback
Release Date: 1st February 2016

9780823268139: PDF
Release Date: 1st February 2016

9780823268122: EPUB
Release Date: 1st February 2016

Dimensions: 152.4 x 228.6

Number of Pages: 152

Series Just Ideas

Fordham University Press

The Mandate of Dignity

Ronald Dworkin, Revolutionary Constitutionalism, and the Claims of Justice

This is the first book to review Ronald Dworkin’s entire body of work in its relevance to constitutional dispensations in the Global South.
Hardback / £70.00
Paperback / £21.99
PDF / £26.00
EPUB / £26.00

A major American legal thinker, the late Ronald Dworkin also helped shape new dispensations in the Global South. In South Africa, in particular, his work has been fiercely debated in the context of one of the world’s most progressive constitutions. Despite Dworkin’s discomfort with that document’s enshrinement of “socioeconomic rights,” his work enables an important defense of a jurisprudence premised on justice, rather than on legitimacy.

Beginning with a critical overview of Dworkin’s work culminating in his two principles of dignity, Cornell and Friedman turn to Kant and Hegel for an approach better able to ground the principles of dignity Dworkin advocates. Framed thus, Dworkin’s challenge to legal positivism enables a theory of constitutional revolution in which existing legal structures are transformatively revalued according to ethical mandates. By founding law on dignity, Dworkin begins to articulate an ethical jurisprudence responsive to the lived experience of injustice. This book, then, articulates a revolutionary constitutionalism crucial to the struggle for decolonization.

Drucilla Cornell is Professor of Political Science, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University. She also teaches at Birkbeck College, University of London, and the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Nick Friedman is a doctoral candidate in legal theory at Oxford University.

This pathbreaking work puts the revolutionary achievement of the South African Constitution and the interpretive work of the South African constitutional court in the illuminating perspective of the best theory of constitutional interpretation now available, the neo-Kantian theory of equal dignity of Ronald Dworkin. It shows clearly how the work of our best constitutional courts—the South African court among them—is now a common humane enterprise for the protection of universal human rights under the rule of law throughout the world.

—David A.J. Richards
New York University School of Law

“The Mandate of Dignity is an ambitious undertaking that contributes importantly to ongoing debates within jurisprudence and political philosophy as well as more specific controversies regarding constitutional law and transitional justice in South Africa.”

—Morris Kaplan
Purchase College, SUNY