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Displaying: 1-20 of 1422 documents


1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Rutger Claassen, Lisa Herzog Making Power Explicit: Why Liberal Egalitarians Should Take (Economic) Power Seriously
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In this paper we argue that liberal-egalitarian theorists of justice should take power, especially economic power, seriously and make it explicit. We argue that many theories of justice have left power implicit, relying on what we call the “primacy of politics” model as a background assumption. However, this model does not suffice to capture the power relations of today’s globalized world, in which the power of nation states has been reduced and material inequality has sky-rocketed. We suggest replacing it by a “political economy” model that emphasizes the possibility of self-reinforcing cycles. Doing so has direct implications for how to theorize justice, not only on the non-ideal, but also on the ideal level.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Zsolt Kapelner Structural Injustice and the Duties of the Privileged
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Structural injustice is injustice produced by largescale social structures and processes that create systemic disadvantages for large groups of people. Individuals have duties to counteract structural injustice. These duties are more demanding for people privileged by unjust social structures than for non-privileged individuals, even when the latter have equal ability to contribute. What explains this? I review and reject two common explanations, i.e., the Reparation Account and the Restitution Account. I offer a third view, the Domination Account; it holds that the privileged have more demanding duties because they pose a constant threat of domination to non-privileged individuals by virtue of their structural positions.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Elias L. Khalil, Alain Marciano Other-Regarding Preferences: The Poverty of the Self/Other Dichotomy
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The category “other-regarding preferences” is a catch-all phrase based on a self/other dichotomy. While the self/other might be useful when the motive is self-interest or altruism, it fails when the motive involves bonding. This article identifies three motives that involve bonding: i) the preferences regarding friendship and community; ii) the preferences that amalgamate communal bonding with self-interest; and iii) the preferences for distinction and status. These three types of preferences unify the self and other—usually aided by ceremonies of gift exchange and celebratory prizes. This article offers a more complete taxonomy of preferences and, corollary, structures of exchange.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Kwan Self-Determination as the Ground and Constraint for the Right to Exclude: An Answer to the Boundary Problem
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In this article, I show how the principle of democratic self-determination can answer the boundary problem by both grounding and constraining a people’s right to exclude potential immigrants. I argue that a people has the qualified right to exclude insofar as it respects the self-determination claims of outsiders. I analyze the concrete implications of the requirement to respect the self-determination claims of outsiders in the cases of (a) long-term residents, (b) refugees, and (c) brain drain. Sometimes the only way for a people to respect the self-determination claims of outsiders will be by including, rather than excluding, them as members.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Matthew Lindauer Entry by Birth Alone?: Rawlsian Egalitarianism and the Basic Right to Invite
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This article argues that citizens have a basic right to invite family members and spouses into their society on the basis of Rawlsian egalitarian premises. This right is argued to be just as basic as other recognized basic rights, such as freedom of speech. The argument suggests further that we must treat immigration and family reunification, in particular, as central issues of domestic justice. The article also examines the implications of these points for the importance of immigration in liberal domestic justice and suggests avenues for further research on the interplay of considerations of justice towards citizens and non-citizens.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Aylon R. Manor Experiments in Living: Moral Polycentricity versus Epistemic Polycentricity
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A number of liberal and libertarian philosophers make the moral case for laissez-faire polycentricity—a political order centered around voluntary association. Some of these philosophers further present epistemic arguments in favor of polycentric forms of organization. Initially, one might think that the epistemic arguments reinforce the moral ones, resulting in a philosophically robust case for laissez-faire polycentricity. This paper argues against this conclusion. Through examining the intersection between epistemic considerations and institutional arrangements, I show that the epistemic arguments point away from laissez-faire polycentricity and toward alternative forms of polycentric order.
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Élise Rouméas The Procedural Value of Compromise
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Compromise is a valuable decision-making procedure. This article argues that its value lies in the norms of reciprocity and consent. Reciprocity structures the practice of concession-giving. Compliance with this tacit rule expresses an ethos of mutual concern and achieves a shared sense of fairness. Consent is a useful safeguard against asymmetric deals and makes compromise morally binding. The procedural value of compromise gives us important reasons to choose this method for resolving conflicts.
8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Jeppe von Platz The Injustice of Alienation
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I articulate and defend a Rousseauvian theory of alienation and argue that thus construed non-alienation is a requirement of justice. On the Rousseauvian account, alienation is a process whereby social and economic conditions produce a particular sort of moral-psychological failure (alienated persons). Alienation is undesirable in itself, but it also makes the alienated person miserable, wicked, and unfree. Since our social and economic conditions are chosen, we should choose those that do not have these undesirable consequences.
9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Aaron J. Yarmel On Choosing Where to Stand: Selecting a Social Movement Approach
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When selecting approaches to pursuing social change, activists commonly evaluate the merits of individual approaches without considering the distributions of approaches already in their movements. This is a problem. I argue, from both general considerations about the division of cognitive labor and empirical evidence from sociology, that some distributions of approaches are better for movements than others and that activists can and should change these distributions for the better rather than for the worse.
10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Guy Aitchison, Saladin Meckled-Garcia Against Online Public Shaming: Ethical Problems with Mass Social Media
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Online Public Shaming (OPS) is a form of norm enforcement that involves collectively imposing reputational costs on a person for having a certain kind of moral character. OPS actions aim to disqualify her from public discussion and certain normal human relations. We argue that this constitutes an informal collective punishment that it is presumptively wrong to impose (or seek to impose) on others. OPS functions as a form of ostracism that fails to show equal basic respect to its targets. Additionally, in seeking to mobilise unconstrained collective power with potentially serious punitive consequences, OPS is incompatible with due process values.
11. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Erin Beeghly What’s Wrong with Stereotypes?: The Falsity Hypothesis
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Stereotypes are commonly alleged to be false or inaccurate views of groups. For shorthand, I call this the falsity hypothesis. The falsity hypothesis is widespread and is often one of the first reasons people cite when they explain why we shouldn’t use stereotypic views in cognition, reasoning, or speech. In this essay, I argue against the falsity hypothesis on both empirical and ameliorative grounds. In its place, I sketch a more promising view of stereotypes—which avoids the falsity hypothesis—that joins my earlier work on stereotypes in individual psychology (2015) with the work of Patricia Hill Collins on cultural stereotypes (2000). According to this two-part hybrid theory, stereotypes are controlling images or ideas that enjoy both a psychological and cultural existence, which serve a regulative social function.
12. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Michael Da Silva The Traces Left Behind: On Appropriate Responses to Right Acts with Wrong Features
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Fulfilling one’s all-things-considered duty sometimes requires violating pro tanto duties. According to W. D. Ross and Robert Nozick, the pro tanto-duty-violating, wrong-making features of acts in these cases can leave ‘traces’ of wrongfulness that require specific responses: feeling compunction for the wrongfulness and/or providing compensation to the negatively affected person. Failure to respond in the appropriate way to lingering wrong-making features can itself be wrongful. Unfortunately, criteria for determining when traces remain are largely lacking. In this piece, I argue for three necessary conditions for the existence of a trace: ‘The Non-Consequentialist Duty Condition,’ ‘The Identity Condition,’ and ‘The Ratio Condition.’
13. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Sam Kiss Political Realism and Political Reasons
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Some people, we may call them realists, endorse the priority thesis. This thesis says political reasons (distinct from moral, prudential, aesthetic, economic, and other kinds of reason) have normative priority whenever we assess political situations. Any putative political reasons, I argue, must satisfy an autonomy condition and an identity condition. I argue that no realist account of political reasons shows such reasons are distinct and autonomous as of yet. One account, the practice-based account, may have the wherewithal to show political reasons are distinct. I also say some things about the relations between identity, autonomy, and priority.
14. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Danielle Limbaugh Still Thin but Thicker than Thin: A Solution for Adjudicating Disputes in Polycentrism
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Political institutions in a diverse social landscape struggle with what I call the ‘initial problem’ of securing universal agreement across a domain. This has led to interest in polycentric models, which devolve a polity’s governmental authority into smaller jurisdictions, eliminating the need for agreement across the polity. The three most developed polycentric models in political philosophy mistakenly assume that there will not be disagreement between jurisdictions. When such disagreement does occur—a natural byproduct of diversity—the initial problem returns when adjudicating the dispute. I propose a solution to adjudicating disputes that avoids the continual return to the initial problem.
15. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Sigurd Lindstad Beneficiary Pays and Respect for Autonomy
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This paper proposes that the “beneficiary pays principle” may be grounded in a brand of respect for autonomy. I first argue that on one understanding, such respect implies that as far as we are not morally required to make some sacrifice in service of some purpose, we each have (pro-tanto) legitimate authority to ourselves decide the purposes for which we should make sacrifices. I then argue that the problem with retaining benefits realized by imposed sacrifices, which the victim was not required to make in order to realize the benefits in question, is that doing so is disrespectful of the victim’s autonomy.
16. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Adam Lovett Must Egalitarians Condemn Representative Democracy?
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Many contemporary democratic theorists are democratic egalitarians. They think that the distinctive value of democracy lies in equality. Yet this position faces a serious problem. All contemporary democracies are representative democracies. Such democracies are highly unequal: representatives have much more power than do ordinary citizens. So, it seems that democratic egalitarians must condemn representative democracies. In this paper, I present a solution to this problem. My solution invokes popular control. If representatives are under popular control, then their extra power is not objectionable. Unfortunately, so I argue, in the United States representatives are under loose popular control.
17. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Joseph A. Stramondo Bioethics, Adaptive Preferences, and Judging the Quality of a Life with Disability
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Both mainstream and disability bioethics sometimes contend that the self-assessment of disabled people about their own well-being is distorted by adaptive preferences that are only held because other, better options are unavailable. I will argue that both of the most common ways of understanding adaptive preferences—the autonomy-based account and the well-being account—would reject blanket claims that disabled people’s QOL self-assessment has been distorted, whether those claims come from mainstream bioethicists or from disability bioethicists. However, rejecting these generalizations for a more nuanced view still has dramatic implications for the status quo in both health policy and clinical ethics.
18. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
David V. Axelsen, Lasse Nielsen Harsh and Disrespectful: Rescuing Moral Agency from Luck and Choice
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Many policies hinge on determining whether someone’s situation is due to luck or choice. In political philosophy, this prevalence is mirrored by luck egalitarian theories. But overemphasizing the distinction between luck and choice will lead to tensions with the value of moral agency, on which the distinction is grounded. Here, we argue that the two most common contemporary critiques of luck egalitarianism, holding it to be harsh and disrespectful are best understood as illustrating exactly this tension. Elaborating on this conflict, we argue that it should lead us to modify how luck and choice are used in theories of justice.
19. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Thomas S. Carnes Unauthorized Immigrants, Reasonable Expectations, and the Right to Regularization
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This article brings an account of reasonable expectations to bear on the question of when unauthorized immigrants have a right to be regularized—that is, to be formally guaranteed freedom from the threat of deportation. Contrary to the current literature, which implicitly relies on a flawed understanding of reasonable expectations, this article argues that only those unauthorized immigrants who have both been tacitly permitted by the state despite lacking formal authorization and have remained long enough to develop deep social roots in the state have a right to regularization.
20. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Sue Donaldson Animal Agora: Animal Citizens and the Democratic Challenge
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Many theorists of the ‘political turn’ in animal rights theory emphasize the need for animals’ interests to be considered in political decision-making processes, but deny that this requires self-representation and participation by animals themselves. I argue that participation by domesticated animals in co-authoring our shared world is indeed required, and explore two ways to proceed: 1) by enabling animal voice within the existing geography of human-animal roles and relationships; and 2) by freeing animals into a revitalized public commons (‘animal agora’) where citizens encounter one another in spontaneous, unpredictable encounters in spaces that they can re-shape together.