The Constitution of Equality: Democratic Authority and Its Limits

The Constitution of Equality: Democratic Authority and Its Limits

by Thomas Christiano
     
 

ISBN-10: 0198297475

ISBN-13: 9780198297475

Pub. Date: 07/15/2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press

What is the ethical basis of democracy? And what reasons do we have to go along with democratic decisions even when we disagree with them? And when do we have reason to say that we may justly ignore democratic decisions? These questions must be answered if we are to have answers to some of the most important questions facing our global community, which include

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Overview

What is the ethical basis of democracy? And what reasons do we have to go along with democratic decisions even when we disagree with them? And when do we have reason to say that we may justly ignore democratic decisions? These questions must be answered if we are to have answers to some of the most important questions facing our global community, which include whether there is a human right to democracy and whether we must attempt to spread democracy throughout the globe.

The Constitution of Equality provides a philosophical account of the moral foundations of democracy and of liberalism. It shows how democracy and basic liberal rights are grounded in the principle of public equality, which tells us that in the establishment of law and policy we must treat persons as equals in ways they can see are treating them as equals. The principle of public equality is shown to be the fundamental principle of social justice. This account enables us to understand the nature and roles of adversarial politics and public deliberation in political life. It gives an account of the grounds of the authority of democracy. It also shows when the authority of democracy runs out. Christiano shows how the violations of democratic and liberal rights are beyond the legitimate authority of democracy, how the creation of persistent minorities in a democratic society, and the failure to ensure a basic minimum for all persons weaken the legitimate authority of democracy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198297475
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
07/15/2008
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Basis of Equality 12

2 Social Justice and Public Equality 46

3 Democracy as the Public Realization of Equality 75

4 An Egalitarian Conception of Liberal Rights 131

5 Equality and Public Deliberation 190

6 The Authority of Democracy 231

7 The Limits to Democratic Authority 260

Index 301

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