Democratic Justice

Democratic Justice

by Ian Shapiro


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Democratic Justice by Ian Shapiro

Democracy and justice are often mutually antagonistic ideas, but in this innovative book Ian Shapiro shows how and why they should be pursued together. Justice must be sought democratically if it is to garner legitimacy in the modern world, he claims, and democracy must be justice-promoting if it is to sustain allegiance over time. Democratic Justice meets these criteria, offering an attractive vision of a practical path to a better future. Wherever power is exercised in human affairs, Shapiro argues, the lack of democracy will be experienced as injustice. The challenge is to democratize social relations so as to diminish injustice, but to do this in ways that are compatible with people's values and goals. Shapiro shows how this can be done in different phases of the human life cycle, from childhood through the adult worlds of work and domestic life, retirement, old age, and approaching death. He spells out the implications for pressing debates about authority over children, the law of marriage and divorce, population control, governing the firm, basic income guarantees, health insurance, retirement policies, and decisions made by and for the infirm elderly. This refreshing encounter between political philosophy and practical politics will interest all those who aspire to bequeath a more just world to our children than the one we have inherited.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300078251
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 08/28/1999
Series: The Institution for Social and Policy Studies
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Why Democratic Justice?
The General Argument
Governing Children
Consenting Adults
Controlling Work
Life's Ending
Deepening Democratic Justice
Notes 241(78)
Index 319

What People are Saying About This

Michael Walzer

Shapiro's argument is wonderfully lucid.
—from the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

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