Publications of Kis, J.
Constitutional Precommitment Revisited
The article focuses on the issue of constitutional precommitment. It discusses the precommitment model and outlines the assumptions and arguments related to it. It tackles the accountability of decision-making bodies such as legislators and justices and argues on the compatibility of judicial review to democratic self-government. It concludes that justice review is compatible with democratic self-governance and delivers better decision than local institutions.
Politics as a Moral Problem
In a world where politics is often associated with notions such as moral decay, frustration and disappointment, the feeling of betrayal, and of democracy in trouble, Kis examines theories about the morality of political action. Amending the two classical theses of realism and of indirect motivation in politics, Kis argues for a constrained thesis of realism and a wide thesis of indirect motivation. By these means the place of moral motivation and common deliberation can be identified, and political agents can be held morally accountable. The analysis refers to a broad range of classic and contemproary literature as well as to recent cases from international politics which call for moral judgment. The Appendix is dedicated to Václav Havel’s seminal essay on “The Power of the Powerless,” which sheds light on the diversity of approaches dissident intellectuals have taken to politics.
Nation-building and beyond
This paper argues that although the multination state is closer to meeting the standards of ethnocultural justice than the one-nation state, the alternatives to nation-building cannot be neglected. It analyses the claim that if ethnocultural justice requires that the one-nation state give way to the multination state, then ethnocultural justice also requires that exclusive jurisdiction give way to overlapping jurisdictions. It also shows, using the example of recent developments in Hungarian nationalism, that the change in the international environment has impacted the perception of political alternatives.
Between reform and revolution
Discusses cases for both reform and revolution in Eastern Europe in 1989. Impact of large-scale, progressive reforms on economy and society; Historical explanations for both cases; Coordinated transitions from both reform and revolution; Conditions under which coordinated the transition scenario is likely to become dominant; Case examples
Beyond the Nation State.
This article examines the concept of the nation state. Liberal nationalism is also nationalism. Its goal is a unified nation state. However, the means at its disposal do not include persecuting the use of minority languages, prohibiting minority culture, expelling members of the minority from their domiciles or destroying them. The meeting of liberalism and nationalism promised a happy union. The liberal doctrine seemed capable of reconciling nationalism's democratic and egalitarian impulses with its discriminatory policy with respect to minorities. The distinction between nation and nationalities was only one of a number of dimensions in which liberalism tried to harmonize equality before the state with individual freedom.
Between reform and revolution : three hypotheses about the nature of the regime change
In the European region of the Russian world system, rapid, unforeseen and far-reaching changes took place in 1989/90. Within no time, the constitutional order was radically transformed. Not only were the political institutions of parliamentary government and of the rule of law born almost overnight, but private property was emancipated and the legal framework for a capitalist economy was established. True, the actual transformation of property relations and social conditions is not that spectacular. Its course is controversial, its forms distorted, and its rhythm unsatisfactory. Aim with this article is to try to dissolve the paradox of "refolution." The author will attempt to explore the features of the 1989/90 Eastern European transition process which locate it between reform and revolution. He hopes to succeed in defining a specific type of social and political transformation; by so doing, he hopes also to provide new perspectives for understanding other already familiar and well described types. Borrowing from the terminology of the 1989/90 Hungarian opposition, the author will call the type falling between reform and revolution a regime change.