Student Blogger - #dgemw Blog: The Effect of Government
The moderator, Aziz Huq, raised a question to all of the panelists about how various factors affect the ability of various actors to influence the state. Professor Nussbaum focused on how the constitutional structure affects the power of the participants in public debate; the British in India delegated decisions on family law to religious authorities, which empowers a reactionary and male portion of the populace. Professor Shissler pointed out that the opposite problem could occur, such as in Turkey where the government has aggregated all of the power to itself, making it more difficult for elements of society to debate the law and make the government accountable. Professor Nussbaum suggested a distinction between free exercise and establishment; the American style of preventing establishment of religious doctrine but empowering individuals to freely exercise their religion may be the best balance.