Non-Domination and Egalitarian Welfare Politics

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Non-Domination and Egalitarian Welfare Politics. / Halldenius, Lena.

I: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 1, Nr. 3, 1998.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Non-Domination and Egalitarian Welfare Politics

AU - Halldenius, Lena

PY - 1998

Y1 - 1998

N2 - Recently in the debate over the nation state and particularly the welfare state, new (or perhaps one should say ”recycled”) arguments have come into play, possibly as a consequence of an overall shift of focus in political philosophy. Critics of the welfare state was previously most concerned with what they saw as violations of individual property rights, that is, arguments concerning the philosophical grounds of the welfare state. Now in the wake of a renewed interest in citizenship and the viability of the nation state as such, questions concerning the sustainability of the welfare state have arisen anew, that is, arguments about the consequences of a welfare state, and not any consequences but its civic consequences. The worry has two components: 1. The welfare state idea, concerned as it is with justice claims that citizens can level against the state and each other is antagonistic and threatens to destroy those very sentiments of loyalty that are necessary to sustain it. 2. The welfare state is too vast and centralized to be able to foster public identification and will leave its citizens feeling powerless and disenchanted. One of several spokespersons for these concerns is Michael J. Sandel who, in his latest book Democracy’s Discontent (1996), in the aftermath of the liberal-communitarian debate believes himself to be reviving the republican tradition with its emphasis on civic virtues. In this article I will, first, argue that Sandel not only misdiagnoses the republican tradition but that his position is actually, and contrary to his own opinion, worse equipped to deal with solidarity and social vulnerability than welfare state theories. Working from a radicalization of Philip Pettit’s republican reconceptualization of ”freedom” as non-domination, I will, secondly, argue for those connections between this notion and strong claims about social justice that Pettit believes are not there.

AB - Recently in the debate over the nation state and particularly the welfare state, new (or perhaps one should say ”recycled”) arguments have come into play, possibly as a consequence of an overall shift of focus in political philosophy. Critics of the welfare state was previously most concerned with what they saw as violations of individual property rights, that is, arguments concerning the philosophical grounds of the welfare state. Now in the wake of a renewed interest in citizenship and the viability of the nation state as such, questions concerning the sustainability of the welfare state have arisen anew, that is, arguments about the consequences of a welfare state, and not any consequences but its civic consequences. The worry has two components: 1. The welfare state idea, concerned as it is with justice claims that citizens can level against the state and each other is antagonistic and threatens to destroy those very sentiments of loyalty that are necessary to sustain it. 2. The welfare state is too vast and centralized to be able to foster public identification and will leave its citizens feeling powerless and disenchanted. One of several spokespersons for these concerns is Michael J. Sandel who, in his latest book Democracy’s Discontent (1996), in the aftermath of the liberal-communitarian debate believes himself to be reviving the republican tradition with its emphasis on civic virtues. In this article I will, first, argue that Sandel not only misdiagnoses the republican tradition but that his position is actually, and contrary to his own opinion, worse equipped to deal with solidarity and social vulnerability than welfare state theories. Working from a radicalization of Philip Pettit’s republican reconceptualization of ”freedom” as non-domination, I will, secondly, argue for those connections between this notion and strong claims about social justice that Pettit believes are not there.

KW - social justice

KW - Philip Pettit

KW - Michael Sandel

KW - property

KW - non-domination

KW - freedom

KW - welfare state

KW - welfare politics

M3 - Article

VL - 1

JO - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

JF - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

SN - 1386-2820

IS - 3

ER -