Why the Social Connection Model Fails: Participation is Neither Necessary nor Sufficient for Political Responsibility

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Iris Marion Young presents a social connection model on which those, and only those, who participate in structural processes that produce injustice have a forward-looking responsibility to redress the resulting injustice by challenging the structures that produce it (she sometimes calls this a political responsibility [Young 2011]). In Young's view, this is an all-things-considered, albeit discretionary, responsibility. I argue that participation in a structural process that produces injustice is neither necessary nor sufficient for having political responsibilities, and that therefore the social connection model must be rejected. A subtler model is needed, one that depicts participation in a structural process that produces injustice as sufficient (but not necessary) for having pro tanto forward-looking responsibilities to redress the process, unless the participating agent satisfies certain excusing conditions. I suggest the intuitive force of the thought that mere participation gives us political responsibilities can be explained by more fundamental considerations. Hastily, we might conclude that all participants have political responsibilities simply because most of them satisfy at least one of the following conditions: they cause injustice to continue, they are morally responsible for injustice, they benefit from injustice, they have communal ties with the victims of injustice, or they have the capacity to redress injustice.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Filosofi


Sidor (från-till)567-586
Antal sidor20
Utgåva nummer4
StatusPublished - 2020
Peer review utfördJa