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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 45, Issue 1, January 2019

Jennifer M. Page
Pages 75-101

State-Sponsored Injustice
The Case of Eugenic Sterilization

In analytic political philosophy, it is common to view state-sponsored injustice as the work of a corporate agent. But as I argue, structural injustice theory provides grounds for reassessing the agential approach, producing new insights into state-sponsored injustice. Using the case of eugenic sterilization in the United States, this article proposes a structurally-sensitive conception of state-sponsored injustice with six components: authorization, protection, systemization, execution, enablement, and norm- and belief-influence. Iris Marion Young’s models of responsibility for agential and structural injustice, and the place of state-sponsored injustice with respect to these models, are also discussed.

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