In his Democratic justice and the social contract, Weale presents a distinctive contingent practice-dependent model of ‘democratic justice’ that relies heavily on a condition of just social and political relations among equals. Several issues arise from this account. Under which conditions might such just social and political relations be realised? What ideal of equality is required for ‘democratic justice’? What are its implications for the political ideal of citizenship? This paper focuses on these questions as a way to critically reconsider Weale’s model. After presenting Weale’s procedural constructivism, I distinguish his model from an institutional practice-dependent model, one salient example of which is Rawls’s political constructivism. This distinction allows for a formulation of the social and political equality required for justice in each case. The contingent model assumes that an equality of ‘status’ will generate just social practices, yet it fails to recognise that an equality of ‘role’ is also important to ensure citizens’ compliance. The paper ultimately seeks to show that the contingent model is insufficient to ensure that just social practices will become stable.

Democratic justice: the priority of politics and the ideal of citizenship / Gentile, Valentina. - In: CRITICAL REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. - ISSN 1369-8230. - 20:2(2017), pp. 211-221. [10.1080/13698230.2016.1183757]

Democratic justice: the priority of politics and the ideal of citizenship

GENTILE, VALENTINA
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2017

Abstract

In his Democratic justice and the social contract, Weale presents a distinctive contingent practice-dependent model of ‘democratic justice’ that relies heavily on a condition of just social and political relations among equals. Several issues arise from this account. Under which conditions might such just social and political relations be realised? What ideal of equality is required for ‘democratic justice’? What are its implications for the political ideal of citizenship? This paper focuses on these questions as a way to critically reconsider Weale’s model. After presenting Weale’s procedural constructivism, I distinguish his model from an institutional practice-dependent model, one salient example of which is Rawls’s political constructivism. This distinction allows for a formulation of the social and political equality required for justice in each case. The contingent model assumes that an equality of ‘status’ will generate just social practices, yet it fails to recognise that an equality of ‘role’ is also important to ensure citizens’ compliance. The paper ultimately seeks to show that the contingent model is insufficient to ensure that just social practices will become stable.
ideal of citizenship; moral stability; political constructivism; social and political equality; Philosophy; Sociology and Political Science
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