Injustice: Political Theory for the Real World

Injustice: Political Theory for the Real World

2018 | ISBN-10: 0190692421, 019069243X | 288 Pages | PDF | 3 MB
This book challenges the dominant approach to problems of justice in global normative theory and offers a radical alternative designed to transform our thinking about what kind of problem injustice is, and how political theorists might do better in understanding and addressing it. Michael Goodhart argues that the dominant paradigm, ideal moral theory (IMT), takes a fundamentally wrong-headed approach to the problem of justice. IMT seeks to work out what an ideally just society would look like, and only then outlines our moral obligations in realizing that ideal. In other words, it ignores the realities of everyday politics.
As Michael Goodhart asserts, IMT postpones engagement with actually existing injustices and distorts our understanding of them, and it normalizes many problematic features of our world. On the other hand, the leading alternatives to IMT struggle to make sense of the role values play in politics. This book sees justice as an ideology and develops an innovative bifocal theoretical framework for making sense of it. This framework provides two complementary perspectives on justice: a theoretical perspective that situates competing ideological claims about justice in a broader political context and a partisan perspective that evaluates the structure and coherence of particular conceptions of justice. As opposed to IMT, it focuses on barriers to justice and advocates an activist political theory that takes sides in political struggles against injustice. Goodhart argues that theorists can help to generate the countervailing power necessary for social transformation through the work of articulation, translation, and mapping, work which contributes to a more comprehensive social science of injustice. Ultimately, this book describes the work that political theory and political theorists can do to combat injustice and illustrates it through a novel reconceptualization of responsibility for injustice.
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