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1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
David V. Axelsen, Lasse Nielsen

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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.

2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Thomas S. Carnes

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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.

3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Sue Donaldson

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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.

4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Matthew D. Kuchem

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In this paper I critique the concept of social groups deployed by Iris Marion Young in her well-known theory of the five faces of oppression. I contend that Young’s approach to conceptualizing social groups creates arbitrary and inconsistent categories, essentializes certain groups, and fails to take seriously the complexity of pluralism. I propose that Margaret Gilbert’s work in social metaphysics provides a more philosophically robust account of social groups that serves as a helpful corrective to Young’s approach. Gilbert’s account of “we”-ness, as well as her theory of the nature of individuals and collectivities, provides a helpful vantage point for critiquing Young’s project and its emphasis on the social process of differentiation in the formation of social groups.

5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Natasha McKeever

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In Sascha Settegast’s recently published article, “Prostitution and the Good of Sex” in Social Theory and Practice, he argues that prostitution is intrinsically harmful. In this article, I object to his argument, making the following three responses to his account: 1) bad sex is not “detrimental to the good life”; 2) bad sex is not necessarily unvirtuous; 3) sex work is work as well as sex, and so must be evaluated as work in addition to as sex.

6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Monica Mookherjee

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Amid now extensive debates about cosmopolitanism in political theory, this article explores the implications of Axel Honneth’s recognition theory for issues in international justice, not least the dire situation of poverty in the world. In contrast with a purely resource-distributive approach, the essay turns particularly to Honneth’s recent revival of the Lukácsian concept of reification as a process of self-distancing from the elementary humanity of others. Specifically, Honneth re-formulates reification as a failure of an elementary or ‘antecedent’ form of recognition. From the perspective of his theory, reification connotes the forgetfulness of others’ fundamental humanity. While Honneth takes such forgetfulness to become most readily apparent in dramatic violations such as the Holocaust, the article interprets his theory to explain, and eventually to challenge, the passive acceptance by many of dire material injustices. The article develops the implications of this challenge by interpreting from Honneth’s framework a duty to question international policies which tend to reify and objectify the least well off in the world, whilst remaining cognizant of the limits of de-reification to the more extensive, meaningful alleviation of poverty globally.

7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Patrick O'Donnell

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According to the “standard framing” of racial appeals in political speech, politicians generally rely on coded language to communicate racial messages. Yet recent years have demonstrated that politicians often express quite explicit forms of racism in mainstream political discourse. The standard framing can explain neither why these appeals work politically nor how they work semantically. This paper moves beyond the standard framing, focusing on the politics and semantics of one type of explicit appeal, candid racial communication (CRC). The linguistic vehicles of CRC are neither true code words, nor slurs, but a conventionally defined class of “racialized terms.”

8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Jonas Hultin Rosenberg

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The all-affected principle, by which all those affected by the policies of the state ought to be included in the demos governing it, is often considered prima facie attractive but, upon closer examination, implausible. The main alternative, according to which all those and only those affected by possible consequences of possible decisions ought to be included in the demos, is equally implausible. I suggest a reformulated principle: the demos includes all those affected by foreseeable consequences of decisions that the state has legal authority and capacity to take. This avoids the problems of the standard version and the main alternative.

9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Mark Silcox

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Certain sorts of disputes about principles of distributive justice that have occupied a great deal of attention in recent political philosophy turn out to be fundamentally unresolvable, when they are conducted in ignorance of whether an important subclass of basic social goods exists within any particular society. I employ the folktale ‘Stone Soup’ to illustrate how such distributional goods might come into existence. Using the debate about John Rawls’s Difference Principle as an example, I argue that a proper appreciation for the axiological status of these goods shows that disputes about principles (at least as these have been conducted within the Rawlsian tradition) should be relegated to a subsidiary status relative to other, more fundamental concerns about the ethics of economic distribution.

10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4

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