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Egalitarian Liberalism, Distributive Justice and the New Constitutionalism

David Bilchitz

These modern constitutions that have been adopted largely in the Global South enshrine a set of divergent values and rights that embrace both political philosophical concerns relating to liberty as well as distributive equality. This article seeks to grapple with the approach to distributive justice that can best give expression to the multiple normative commitments of these constitutions as well as key institutional features thereof. I argue for these societies to adopt what I term a two-tier theory of distributive justice: these theories require a set pattern or threshold to be achieved in a certain domain but also allow for a tolerable variation in resource distribution in another domain. I seek to show how two of the foremost egalitarian liberal theories of distributive justice – that of Ronald Dworkin and John Rawls – exemplify this structure as well as the resources they have to address the problems thereof. I then argue that a two-tier structure of a theory of distributive justice can help explain and reconcile key features of these modern constitutions. In particular, I shall seek to show the manner in which such theories conform to understandings of the role of a constitution, and the importance of preserving space for democratic decision-making. At the same time, two-tier theories assist in delineating the appropriate role constitutional courts should play in addressing the distribution of economic resources in society. These theories also have important implications for the role of the state and markets. Such a structure, I shall conclude, gives effect to a particular conception of equality as well as liberty and so manages to reconcile these two normative values.

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A politicized ecology of resilience

Redistributive land reform and distributive justice in the COVID-19 pandemic

Jonathan DeVore

)production. Different redistributive programs involve notions of distributive justice informed by different background theories of “the good” ( Taylor 1986: 36 ), which shape competing concepts of resilience. In Section 2, I describe the ethnographic context of my

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Justice and the Grey Box of Responsibility

Carl Knight

Even where an act appears to be responsible, and satisfies all the conditions for responsibility laid down by society, the response to it may be unjust where that appearance is false, and where those conditions are insufficient. This paper argues that those who want to place considerations of responsibility at the centre of distributive and criminal justice ought to take this concern seriously. The common strategy of relying on what Susan Hurley describes as a 'black box of responsibility' has the advantage of not taking responsibility considerations to be irrelevant merely because some specific account of responsibility is mistaken. It can, furthermore, cope perfectly well with an absence of responsibility, even of the global sort implied by hard determinism and other strongly sceptical accounts. Problems for the black box view come in where responsibility is present, but in a form that is curtailed in one significant regard or another. The trick, then, is to open the box of responsibility just enough that its contents can be the basis for judgements of justice. I identify three 'moderately sceptical' forms of compatibilism that cannot ground judgements of justice, and are therefore expunged by the strongest 'grey box' view.

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The contributions to this issue of Theoria both revisit some of the themes that have come to shape the journal as an editorial project and invitingly open up new areas of enquiry and debate. Thus the challenges posed by poverty on a global scale, the problems of inequality and distributive justice, the legacy of the failure of socialism in Eastern Europe and aspects of the ‘postmodern moment’ in late twentieth century thought are, once again, challengingly engaged with. At the same time new agendas for research and theoretical reflection are identified.

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Cosmopolitan Justice Reconsidered

Darrel Moellendorf

It is a great honour to have Cosmopolitan Justice reviewed in the pages of this journal. Indeed, the range and quality of the reviews are terrific, in the multiple senses of that word. I regret that I do not have the opportunity to respond fully to any of the reviews. Nonetheless, I shall try to do justice to the most serious issues raised. The next section, the most abstract of five, addresses challenges to the constructivist justification in Cosmopolitan Justice as well as the nature of duties of justice in the absence of a legal framework. Although this section may be particularly interesting to students of philosophy, those whose interests are relatively more applied can skip ahead. Section III takes up the issues of sovereignty and intervention; Section IV addresses matters of distributive justice.

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Rawls, Young, and the Scope of Justice

Hennie Lötter

What is justice all about? What is the scope of the concept of justice? What are the issues that can legitimately be discussed and evaluated in terms of justice? In her book Justice and the Politics of Difference, Iris Marion Young challenges the theory of justice developed by John Rawls and responded to by many political theorists in the philosophical debate generated by Rawls’s book, A Theory of Justice (1971). Young objects to the emphasis on matters of distributive justice and finds the use of the metaphor of distribution too restrictive when applied to nondistributive issues. She wants to widen the scope of the concept of justice to include topics like decision making, culture, and the division of labour.

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Afro-communitarian Implications for Justice and Reconciliation

Rianna Oelofsen

apartheid government systematically benefitted whites economically this structural aspect of apartheid needs to be taken into account when considering distributive justice. Distributive justice is understood in a myriad of different ways, but a general

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Territorial Sovereignty

A Discussion

Professor Anna Stilz and Interviewed by Dr Christine Hobden

to write this book besides the one I gave. There was a lot of debate in the last twenty years in contemporary political theory about global distributive justice. There were many different competing theories that were put forward in that debate. Some

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Radical Republicanism

Democracy, Property and Rights

David Guerrero, Bru Laín, and Benjamin Ask Popp-Madsen

rights, popular sovereignty, property rights and commons, distributive justice and the material conditions of freedom and so on. In doing so, some of them develop fructiferous historically grounded interpretations of the normative thought of widely read

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Multiscalar moral economy

Global agribusiness, rural Zambian residents, and the distributed crowd

Tijo Salverda

) “distributive justice,” that is fair(er) distribution of material goods and rewards in society (e.g., Roemer 1998 ). A multiscalar perspective My analysis focuses on the asymmetrical and yet interdependent socioeconomic relations be-tween a European