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Exile, Statelessness, and Migration$
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Seyla Benhabib

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167251

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167251.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 June 2021

Equality and Difference

Equality and Difference

Human Dignity and Popular Sovereignty in the Mirror of Political Modernity

(p.9) 2 Equality and Difference
Exile, Statelessness, and Migration

Seyla Benhabib

Princeton University Press

This chapter explains how in the German—Jewish encounter with political modernity, the contradictory presuppositions constitutive of every nation-state are revealed. Now that the weaknesses of the Westphalian state-system are becoming increasingly apparent, whereas the alternative institutions that ought to transcend this system are still remote, scholars can identify some of these paradoxes more vividly. The dignity of equal citizenship for all and the sovereignty claims of the nation are the dual sources of legitimacy in the modern nation-state, and the tensions among them have accompanied and enframed the people's political experiences since the bourgeois democratic revolutions of the eighteenth century. The chapter shows how Jewish political and legal thinkers of the twentieth century have grappled with both dimensions of this paradox.

Keywords:   German—Jewish encounter, political modernity, Westphalian state-system, equal citizenship, sovereignty, legitimacy, democratic revolutions

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