Critical theory, democratic justice and globalisation

Critical Horizons 6 (1):119-136 (2005)
One way of providing a focus for critical theory today is to articulate those substantive and robust norms of egalitarian justice that would appear to be presupposed by the idea of a republican and democratic constitutional order. It is suggested here that democratic justice requires the equalisation of effective communicative freedom among all structurally constituted social groups (SCSGs) and that this will have far-reaching implications that entail the deconstruction of all social hierarchies in both domestic and global orders. This argument is presented in three sections. The first defends the focus on groups rather than individuals in theorising democratic justice. The second intervenes critically in contemporary debates surrounding the theoretical relation between various aspects of justice including the demands of redistribution, recognition and political empowerment. The third turns to the challenges for critical theory presented by a complex and multifaceted process of globalisation and it defends a qualified form of cosmopolitanism and highlights the need for a radical democratisation of the international order.
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