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The real value of equality

Jubb, R. ORCID: (2015) The real value of equality. The Journal of Politics, 77 (3). pp. 679-691. ISSN 0022-3816

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1086/681262


This paper investigates how political theorists and philosophers should understand egalitarian political demands in light of the increasingly important realist critique of much of contemporary political theory and philosophy. It suggests, first, that what Martin O'Neill has called non-intrinsic egalitarianism is, in one form at least, a potentially realistic egalitarian political project and second, that realists may be compelled to impose an egalitarian threshold on state claims to legitimacy under certain circumstances. Non-intrinsic egalitarianism can meet realism’s methodological requirements because it does not have to assume an unavailable moral consensus since it can focus on widely acknowledged bads rather than contentious claims about the good. Further, an appropriately formulated non-intrinsic egalitarianism may be a minimum requirement of an appropriately realistic claim by a political order to authoritatively structure some of its members' lives. Without at least a threshold set of egalitarian commitments, a political order seems unable to be transparent to many of its worse off members under a plausible construal of contemporary conditions.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:43038
Publisher:University of Chicago Press


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