1st Edition

Talents and Distributive Justice

Edited By Mitja Sardoč Copyright 2023
    112 Pages
    by Routledge

    112 Pages
    by Routledge

    For much of its history, the notion of talent has been associated with the idea of ‘careers open to talent’. Its emancipatory promise of upward social mobility has ultimately radically transformed the distribution of advantaged social positions and has had a lasting influence on the very idea of social status itself. Besides its inextricable link with equality of educational opportunity, the notion of talent also came to be associated with some of the most pressing contemporary issues as diverse as the ‘war for talent’, brain drain, immigration policies, talent management, global meritocracy, the ‘excellence gap’, the ‘ownership’ of natural resources, ability taxation, etc.

    Nevertheless, while central to egalitarian conceptions of distributive justice, the notion of talent remains to a large extent absent from the voluminous literature on these issues. Unlike concepts traditionally associated with distributive justice, such as fairness, (in)equality, equality of opportunity as well as justice itself, the notion of talent has received only limited examination. This volume brings together a set of contributions discussing some of the most pressing problems and challenges arising out of a reductionist understanding of talents’ anatomy, a distorted characterisation of their overall distributive value or talents’ non-voluntaristic nature and many other issues revolving around talents, which existing conceptions of distributive justice in education leave either neglected or outrightly ignored.

    The chapters in this book were originally published in the journal, Educational Philosophy and Theory.

    1. Introduction 
    Mitja Sardoč 
    2. Talents and distributive justice: some tensions 
    Mitja Sardoč and Tomaž Deželan 
    3. Two conceptions of talent 
    Jaime Ahlberg 
    4. Against selection: Educational justice and the ascription of talent 
    Johannes Giesinger 
    5. Talents, abilities and educational justice 
    Kirsten Meyer 
    6. Earning rent with your talent: Modern-day inequality rests on the power to define, transfer and institutionalize talent 
    Jonathan J. B. Mijs 
    7. The belief in innate talent and its implications for distributive justice 
    Mark C. Vopat 
    8. A limited defense of talent as a criterion for access to educational opportunities 
    Winston C. Thompson 
    9. China’s making and governing of educational subjects as ‘talent’: A dialogue with Michel Foucault 
    Weili Zhao 
    10. Talents and distributive justice: An interview with Hillel Steiner 
    Mitja Sardoč 


    Mitja Sardoč is Senior Research Associate at the Educational Research Institute in Ljubljana (Slovenia). He is author of scholarly articles and editor of a number of journal special issues on citizenship education, multiculturalism, toleration, equality of opportunity, patriotism, radicalisation and violent extremism. He is Managing Editor of Theory and Research in Education, Editor-in-Chief of the Handbook of Patriotism and The Palgrave Handbook of Toleration.