In this article, we review the intrinsic democratic flaws in electoral representation, lay out a set of principles that should guide the construction of a sortition chamber, and argue for the virtue of a bicameral system that combines sortition and elections. We show how sortition could prove inclusive, give citizens greater control of the political agenda, and make their participation more deliberative and influential. We consider various design challenges, such as the sampling method, legislative training, and deliberative procedures. We explain (...) why pairing sortition with an elected chamber could enhance its virtues while dampening its potential vices. In our conclusion, we identify ideal settings for experimenting with sortition. (shrink)
Stuart White argues that egalitarians need a diverse toolkit of policy proposals in order to move closer to a just economic system. In particular he argues that a policy of Basic Capital grants should be included in this toolkit along with a variety of other more familiar instruments such as unconditional Basic Income, welfare state services and income supports, and support for worker cooperatives. The various policies in the egalitarian toolkit, however, have implications for issues other than contributing to a (...) more just economic system. In particular, they have implications for the long term stability, transformation, or even transcendence, of capitalism as an economic system. In this article I will argue that unconditional Basic Income has a greater potential to erode capitalism than does Basic Capital. While both of these policies in the egalitarian toolkit may make the economic system statically more just, over time Basic Capital grants are likely to strengthen capitalism as the core structure of the economic system, whereas unconditional Basic Income has the potential to erode the dominance of capitalism. As part of a long-term project of human emancipation, therefore, unconditional Basic Income should have priority over Basic Capital. (shrink)
This paper explores a contrast between the Marxist and feminist traditions of emancipatory social theory: whereas in the Marxist tradition theorists have spent considerable time and energy discussing the problem of the viability of classlessness as an emancipatory project, feminists have spent relatively little time defending the viability of a society without male domination. The paper argues that this difference in preoccupations reflects, at least to some extent, differences in the relationship between prefigurative egalitarian micro experiences and macro institutional change (...) with respect to gender oppression and class oppression. The paper also explores the implications of this contrast for the kinds of explanatory theory developed within the two traditions. Marxists' greater tendency than feminists to seek relatively deterministic accounts of the demise of the form of oppression on which they focus is viewed as at least partially a way of contending with the difficulty in establishing the viability of the emancipatory project of classlessness. (shrink)
Some of the important conceptual debates between different approaches to class analysis can be interpreted as reflecting different ways of linking temporality to class structure. In particular, processual concepts of class can be viewed as linking class to the past whereas structural concepts link class to the future. This contrast in the temporality of class concepts in turn is grounded in distinct intuitions about why class is explanatory of social conflict and social change. Processural approaches to class see its explanatory (...) power as deriving from the way meanings and identities are linked to class via a history of experiences; structural approaches, in contrast, emphasize the linkage between class and perceived interests via the objective possibilities facing people in different class locations. This paper tries to integrate these two temporalities by exploring the ways in which trajectories of class experience intersect structures of objective possibility in shaping different dimensions of class consciousness. (shrink)
This article explores the relationship between class and the gendered domestic division of labor by examining how the contribution by husbands to housework in dual-career families varies across the class system. The article uses data from the United States and Sweden. The findings indicate that location in the class structure is not a powerful or systematic determinant of variations in the division of labor across households.
Both Basic Income and Stakeholder Grants, if sufficiently generous, are likely to have an impact on the balance of power between classes: Stakeholder Grants make it easier for individuals to become self-employed and “own their own means of production,” thus reducing their dependency on capitalists; by unconditionally guaranteeing each individual an above-poverty standard of living, a generous Basic Income gives every worker an exit-option from the labor market, thus also reducing their dependence on capitalists. Of the two proposals, however, Basic (...) Income is likely to have the more profound effect on relative class power for several reasons: many people will “blow” their stakes either through bad luck or waste; basic income increases the possibility of engaging in decommodified, nonmarket activity, thus expanding the sphere of economic practices outside of capitalism; basic income increases the capacity of collective struggle by providing a guaranteed strike fund for workers. (shrink)
The general-case glass ceiling hypothesis states that not only is it more difficult for women than for men to be promoted up levels of authority hierarchies within workplaces but also that the obstacles women face relative to men become greater as they move up the hierarchy. Gender-based discrimination in promotions is not simply present across levels of hierarchy but is more intense at higher levels. Empirically, this implies that the relative rates of women being promoted to higher levels compared to (...) men should decline with the level of the hierarchy. This article explores this hypothesis with data from three countries: the United States, Australia, and Sweden. The basic conclusion is that while there is strong evidence for a general gender gap in authority—the odds of women having authority are less than those of men—there is no evidence for systematic glass ceiling effects in the United States and only weak evidence for such effects in the other two countries. (shrink)