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Dynamic injustice: interlocking recognition and distribution

Popescu, Diana-Elena (2018) Dynamic injustice: interlocking recognition and distribution. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.tuosbqvcybzf


Theories of justice are usually divided in aim and sphere of operation between redistributive justice (allocation of goods and resources) and recognition justice (ensuring respect and esteem between members of societies regardless of race, ethnicity, sexuality etc.). Divorcing the two is said to create conceptual clarity, but policy chaos in the treatment of complex injustices. Contrary to the received view, my thesis argues recognition and redistribution can only provide an adequate conceptual framework for questions of justice if they operate together and show this in relation to socially excluded and discriminated against groups, with a particular focus on the case of the Roma minority. The first chapter criticises existing theoretical approaches to the connection between recognition and redistribution, most notably Fraser's ‘different logics’ argument. The following chapters establish that neither recognition nor redistribution are theoretically sufficient for capturing the meaning of injustice in certain cases: Chapter 2 argues recognition faces a ‘symmetry problem’ between just and unjust struggles, requiring appeals to redistribution as a demarcation criterion. Chapter 3 argues redistributive attempts to define disability fail to capture the recognition-based concerns of the social model of disability and extrapolates the argument from the 'special' case of disability to the (unfortunately) common case of ethnic discrimination, focusing on the Roma minority. Chapters 4 and 5 define and defend a view of discrimination as a specific pattern of interaction between recognition and redistribution, similar to Sunstein's anti-caste principle but allowing for relevant markers to be socially (rather than physiologically) defined. Chapter 6 argues social exclusion is also, contrary to most current approaches, a matter of recognition and not only redistribution, showing how the two dimensions interact in the case of the Roma minority. I conclude by pointing out that discrimination and social exclusion, while often regarded as separate social issues, are structurally similar with regards to the underlying dynamic between the redistributive and recognition dimensions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Diana-Elena Popescu
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Phillips, Anne

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