1st Edition

Distributive Justice Debates in Political and Social Thought Perspectives on Finding a Fair Share

Edited By Camilla Boisen, Matthew C. Murray Copyright 2016
    296 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Who has what and why in our societies is a pressing issue that has prompted explanation and exposition by philosophers, politicians and jurists for as long as societies and intellectuals have existed. It is a primary issue for a society to tackle this and these answers have been diverse.

    This collection of essays approaches some of these questions and answers to shed light on neglected approaches to issues of distribution and how these issues have been dealt with historically, socially, conceptually, and practically. The volume moves away from the more dominating and traditionally cast understandings of distributive justice and shows novel and unique ways to approach distributive issues and how these can help enlighten our course of action and thought today by creating new pathways of understanding. The editors and contributors challenge readers by exploring the role and importance of restorative justice within distributive justice, exploring the long shadow of practices of trusteeship, and concepts of social and individual rights and obligations in welfare and economic systems, social protection/provision schemes, egalitarian practices and post-colonial African political thought.

    Distributive Justice Debates in Political and Social Thought empowers the reader to cast a more critical and historically complete light on the idea of a fair share and the implications it has on societies and the individuals who comprise them.

    Preface: The Limits of Distributive Justice: A Brief Exploration of Restorative Justice

    [David Boucher]

    Introduction: Distributing Distributive Justice

    [Camilla Boisen and Matthew C. Murray] 

    Part I - Historical Approaches to Distributive Justice

    1. A Right to Welfare: Historical and Philosophical Reflections

    [Samuel Fleischacker] 

    2. Luck Egalitarianism and the History of Political Thought

    [Carl Knight] 

    3. Radical Distributive Justice: Fichte’s The Closed Commercial State

    [David James] 

    4. Social Darwinism and Social Justice: Herbert Spencer and the Poor

    [Matt Zwolinski] 

    Part 2: Distributive Justice Reconsidered: Forging New Debates

    5. Dignity, Sociability and Capability: Exploring Nussbaum’s Interpretation of Grotius

    [Camilla Boisen and Matthew C. Murray] 

    6. Care Ethics and Distributive Justice

    [Daniel Engster]

    7. Justice and Real Politics: Freedom, Needs and Representation

    [Lawrence Hamilton] 

    8. Conservative Responses to Piketty’s "Unthinkable" Top Rate Income Tax

    [Christopher Allsobrook] 

    Part 3: New Horizons Beyond the West: African and Global Issues in Distributive Justice

    9. An African Theory of Social Justice: Relationship as the Ground of Rights, Resources and Recognition

    [Thaddeus Metz] 

    10. Social Protection & Justice: Poverty, Redistribution, and Dignity

    [Marianne S. Ulriksen, Sophie Plagerson, and Tessa Hochfeld] 

    11. Territory, Desert, and Global Distributive Justice

    [Kim Angell] 

    12. The Global Commons and International Distributive Justice

    [Peri Roberts and Peter Sutch] 

    Conclusion: Finding a Fair Share

    [Camilla Boisen and Matthew C. Murray]


    Camilla Boisen is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Political Theory at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her area of research is on colonial political thought in relation to the development of ideas of property rights, trusteeship and humanitarian intervention and their influence on contemporary problems such as post-colonial restitution.

    Matthew C. Murray is the Senior Project Advisor for the Growthpolicy.org project at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and serves as Special Lecturer of Philosophy at Providence College. Matthew is actively researching and publishing in the areas of critical theories of justice (subaltern, race, culture, gender and disability) and their effects on the ideas of and applications of distributive and social justice.

    "The volume is a refreshing departure from the well-worn paths followed in many discussions of distributive justice since Rawls. While not neglecting standard arguments, the contributors provide a much broader, and welcome, perspective on fair shares, including views of justice from Southern Africa, discussions of less familiar figures in this context, for example, Herbert Spencer and Johann Fichte, and less familiar topics, such as the importance of territory in global distributive justice."—Carole Pateman, University of California, Los Angeles

    "This book is a thoroughly welcome addition to a burgeoning literature on distributive justice. Boisen and Murray have assembled an impressive group of contributors, with wide but mutually supportive interests. Together they highlight the crucial role that discussions of classic issues in history of political thought have had in framing debate in our contemporary (global) context. European, Anglo-American and African perspectives are brought to bear on issues that must concern us in a deeply unequal world. The book is sure to spark interest and debate among students, activists and academics with interests in distributive justice."Bruce Haddock, Cardiff University, UK