This article argues that a theory of recognition cannot provide the comprehensive basis for a critical theory or a conception of social justice. In this respect, I agree with Fraser's impulse to include more in such a theory, such as distributive justice and participatory parity. Fraser does not go far enough, to the extent that methodologically she seeks a theory of the same sort as Honneth's. Both Honneth's and Fraser's comprehensive theories cannot account for a central phenomenon of contemporary societies: domination as structural exclusion rather than tyranny or the lack of parity. This phenomenon shows that at the very least freedom ought to remain central to any critical theory of globalization. Most of all, both theories fail to provide a way to decide whether democratic practices can produce justice. A pluralist and pragmatic form of critical theory is thus superior to any comprehensive normative theory.
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DOI 10.1177/1474885107077310
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