What Could Be Wrong with a Mortgage? Private Debt Markets from a Perspective of Structural Injustice

Journal of Political Philosophy 25 (4):411-434 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In many Western capitalist economies, private indebtedness is pervasive, but it has received little attention from political philosophers. Economic theory emphasizes the liberating potential of debt contracts, but its picture is based on assumptions that do not always hold, especially when there is a background of structural injustice. Private debt contracts are likely to miss their liberating potential if there is deception or lack of information, if there is insufficient access to (regular forms of) credit, or if credit is overly expensive. Markets for private debt can be mechanisms of structural injustice: rather than playing a neutral role, they reinforce injustices, because the failures of debt to be liberating disproportionately hit individuals in disadvantaged positions. By individualizing what are in fact structural problems, private debt can contribute to stigmatization, social exclusion and oppression. What is at stake, from a perspective of structural justice, is not only the distribution of income, but also the distribution of risk. The problems of private debt markets therefore require political attention. In addition to fighting the structural injustices that form the background condititions of private debt, it is also worth addressing private debt markets themselves.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,363

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Rethinking on the Mortgage Object.Xiu-Ping Ji - 2007 - Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 2:76-83.
Intolerable Wrong and Punishment.Elizabeth H. Wolgast - 1985 - Philosophy 60 (232):161-174.
Luck, Justice and Systemic Financial Risk.John Linarelli - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (3):331-352.
The Arrangement of Control Rights in Debt Financing.Yong Wang - 2006 - Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 1:133-140.
Responses to Symposium Papers.Virginia Held - 2010 - Public Affairs Quarterly 24 (3):247-256.
Markets.Lisa Herzog - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2013.
The concept of injustice.Eric Heinze - 2013 - New York,: Routledge.
The Problem of Unresolved Wrongdoing.Kenneth Einar Himma - 2010 - Faith and Philosophy 27 (4):405-422.
Economic policy and the financial crisis: An empirical analysis of what went wrong.John B. Taylor - 2009 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 21 (2-3):341-364.


Added to PP

120 (#105,823)

6 months
4 (#184,465)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Lisa Maria Herzog
University of Groningen

Citations of this work

The Right to Credit.Marco Meyer - 2018 - Journal of Political Philosophy 26 (3):304-326.
Global reserve currencies from the perspective of structural global justice: distribution and domination.Lisa Herzog - 2021 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 24 (7):931-953.
philosophy of money and finance.Boudewijn De Bruin, Lisa Maria Herzog, Martin O'Neill & Joakim Sandberg - 2018 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Palo Alto: Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
What Do We Want from a Theory of Justice?Amartya Sen - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (5):215-238.
The Benefits of Cooperation.Joseph Heath - 2006 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 34 (4):313-351.

View all 15 references / Add more references