This essay investigates a strand of left-republicanism that emerged in France in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The solidarists developed a distinctive theory of social property and a thorough critique of the liberal, republican, and socialist alternatives. Solidarism rests on the claim that the modern division of labor creates a social product that does not naturally belong to the individuals who control it as their private property; property, therefore, should be conceived as “common wealth,” divided into individual and (...) public shares. When the wealthy appropriate a disproportionate share, they have a quasi-contractual debt to society that they are obliged to repay. The concepts of social debt, common-wealth, reparations, and rent played an important role in legitimizing egalitarian policies, but they have been largely forgotten today. This article resuscitates the theoretical arguments introduced by the solidarists and explains their relevance for contemporary debates about alternative economic arrangements. (shrink)
For over forty years, economic inequality and distributive justice have been two of the primary concerns of political philosophers. This volume addresses these issues in a novel way, by focusing on the concepts of solidarity and public goods as both descriptive and normative frameworks. Solidarity links the social, political and moral together, in a distinctively political approach that recognizes the social sources of power on the one hand and sources of moral motivation on the other. Public goods such as education, (...) healthcare, and transport systems are indispensable to the forging of solidarity, but at the same time they may become sources of oppression or injustice, when they fail to respect individual autonomy or when they calcify majoritarian preferences. The essays in this volume explore different features of the political, moral and civic approaches to solidarity. The moral theory of solidarity is advanced in one case as an intrinsically valuable concept of social connectedness and in another as an approach of epistemic deference; a structural account of solidarity theorizes about action against racial oppression, and a power-relations account points at the urgency of the affective, non-rational dimensions of solidarity. The social value of property and its moral implications are articulated through the lens of French 19th Century ‘Solidarism’ and as a complementary theory to left-libertarianism. Public goods are defended as instrumental to solidarity, in one case within a liberal framework and in another within a human-perfectionism framework. By providing a series of thought-provoking debates about social obligations and justice, the volume re-establishes solidarity and public goods as pertinent concepts for theorizing about social justice and inequality. (shrink)
The past twenty years have witnessed the consolidation of deliberation as the normative basis of democratic theory. Although different versions of deliberative democracy vary in scope and degree of institutionalization, they share the assumption that the rational consensus engendered through discussion should serve as the normative guide for democratic politics. Although this tradition has roots in the birth of bourgeois liberal thought, it has received renewed attention due to Habermas’s reformulation on the basis of discourse ethics. In his middle period, (...) Habermas had attempted to ground rationality in the structure of discourse itself, in the ideal preconditions of intersubjective communication.1 His more pragmatist heirs, however, jettison transcendental truth claims while maintaining that deliberation can enhance the legitimacy of consensual solutions to the moral dilemmas which divide citizens. (shrink)
Now, twenty years later, this collection of fifteenessays brings her work into dialogue with those philosophical views that are at center stage today-- in critical theory, communitarianism, virtue theory, and feminism.
This paper examines the rhetorical dimension of arguments about global justice. It draws on postcolonial theory, an approach that has explored the relationship between knowledge and power. The global justice literature has elaborated critiques of global inequality and advanced arguments about how to overcome the legacies of domination. These concerns are also shared by critics of colonialism, yet there are also epistemological differences that separate the two scholarly communities. Despite these differences, I argue that bringing the two literatures into conversation (...) generates important benefits. Postcolonial theory draws attention to the way that abstract concepts can function as metaphors that have the unintended consequence of reinforcing power relations. Normative theory will be more effective at promoting global justice if it pays more attention to the politics of representation. (shrink)
The subject of empire has emerged as a central concern in political theory. Edmund Burke and John Stuart Mill have been at the center of much recent scholarship on this topic. A number of depictions of Burke as a critic and Mill as a defender of empire rely largely on their writings about India. This article focuses instead on Burke and Mill's writings on the West Indies and America from the standpoint of both thinkers' connection to Scottish Enlightenment historiography. It (...) argues that Burke 's embrace of the notion of a civilizing process helps explain his dismissive treatment of Africans and Indians in the Americans and makes it clear that he was no simple defender of cultural pluralism and difference. Conversely, it argues that Mill's essay, "The Negro Question," and his public criticism of martial law in Jamaica suggest his doubts about the civilizing effect of British rule. By re-examining their writings from this particular geographical and theoretical perspective, the article challenges the new scholarly orthodoxy surrounding Burke 's and Mill's views of the imperial project. (shrink)
This article develops a novel approach to the relationship between public space and democracy. It employs the concept of the spectacle to show how public space can serve to destroy or weaken solidarity just as easily as it can foster a democratic ethos of equality. A close reading of Rousseau's Letter to M. d'Alembert on the Theatre helps illuminate the political implications of modern public life, which increasingly takes the form of passive individuals assembling in order to view a spectacle. (...) According to Rousseau, spectacles like the theater are depoliticizing because they undermine the opportunity for active participation and interaction with other citizens. By habituating the audience to theatrical modes of self-presentation, they also weaken the capacity for empathy. This article concludes by showing how contemporary theorists including Sennett, Debord and Habermas also contribute to our understanding of the concept of the spectacle. Key Words: citizenship • democracy • festival • public space • Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Richard Sennett • spectacle • theater. (shrink)
How is the concept of patient care adapting in response to rapid changes in healthcare delivery and advances in medical technology? How are questions of ethical responsibility and social diversity shaping the definitions of healthcare? In this topical study, scholars in anthropology, nursing theory, law and ethics explore questions involving the changing relationship between patient care and medical ethics. Contributors address issues that challenge the boundaries of patient care, such as: · HIV-related care and research · the impact of new (...) reproductive technologies · preventative healthcare · technological breakthroughs that are changing personal-caring relationships. Chapters range from a consideration of the practicalities of nursing and family healthcare to a debate about ‘universal human needs’ and patients’ rights. This book is a provocative exploration of the ways in which healthcare models are socially constructed. It will be of interest to policy-makers, medical practitioners and administrators, as well as students of sociology, anthropology and social policy. (shrink)