Three Rawlsian Routes towards Economic Democracy

Revue de Philosophie Économique 9 (1):29-55 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper addresses ways of arguing fors ome form of economic democracy from within a broadly Rawlsian framework. Firstly, one can argue that a right to participate in economic decision-making should be added to the Rawlsian list of basic liberties, protected by the first principle of justice. Secondly,I argue that a society which institutes forms of economic democracy will be more likely to preserve a stable and just basic structure over time, by virtue of the effects of economic democratization on the development of an active, democratic character among citizens. Thirdly, I argue that a proper understanding of the demands of the difference principle shows that justice demands more than ex post redistribution, but also requires the ex ante redistribution of power and authority in economic life. This connects to Rawls’s discussion of the badness of inequality, and to his endorsement of a “property-owning democracy”. My conclusion is that, even if we may doubt the success of this first Rawlsian argument,the second and third arguments are both successful, and together establish a strong Rawlsian case forseeing economic democratization as a requirement of justice.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

A Modified Rawlsian Theory of Social Justice: “Justice as fair Rights”.Rodney G. Peffer - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 50:593-608.
Are Economic Liberties Basic Rights?Jeppe von Platz - 2014 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (1):23-44.
Are economic liberties basic rights?Jeppe von Platz - 2014 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (1):23-44.
Property-Owning Democracy and the Idea of Highest-Order Interests.Gavin Kerr - 2012 - Social Theory and Practice 38 (3):455-482.
There is no Human Right to Democracy. But May We Promote it Anyway?Matthew Lister - 2012 - Stanford Journal of International Law 48 (2):257.
Democracy and ecological soundness.J. Rocheleau - 1999 - Ethics and the Environment 4 (1):39-56.
Cooperation, competition, and democracy.Shaomeng Li - 2011 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (2):273-283.
Neo-republicanism and the civic economy.Richard Dagger - 2006 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 5 (2):151-173.
Democracy and the limits of self-government.Adam Przeworski (ed.) - 2010 - New York: Cambridge University Press.


Added to PP

1,304 (#9,299)

6 months
124 (#34,002)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Martin O'Neill
University of York

Citations of this work

The Basic Liberties: An Essay on Analytical Specification.Stephen K. McLeod & Attila Tanyi - 2023 - European Journal of Political Theory 22 (3):465-486.
Freedom, republicanism, and workplace democracy.Keith Breen - 2015 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18 (4):470-485.
Survey Article: Philosophy and Public Policy after Piketty.Martin O'Neill - 2017 - Journal of Political Philosophy 25 (3):343-375.

View all 33 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Two concepts of rules.John Rawls - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (1):3-32.
Lectures on the history of political philosophy.John Rawls - 2007 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Edited by Samuel Richard Freeman.
What should egalitarians believe?Martin O'neill - 2008 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (2):119-156.

View all 10 references / Add more references