The Constitution of Equality

The Constitution of Equality : Democratic Authority and Its Limits

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What is the ethical basis of democracy? And what reasons do we have to go along with democratic decisions even when we disagree with them? And when do we have reason to say that we may justly ignore democratic decisions? These questions must be answered if we are to have answers to some of the most important questions facing our global community, which include whether there is a human right to democracy and whether we must attempt to spread democracy throughout
the globe.

This book provides a philosophical account of the moral foundations of democracy and of liberalism. It shows how democracy and basic liberal rights are grounded in the principle of public equality, which tells us that in the establishment of law and policy we must treat persons as equals in ways they can see are treating them as equals. The principle of public equality is shown to be the fundamental principle of social justice. This account enables us to understand the nature and roles of
adversarial politics and public deliberation in political life. It gives an account of the grounds of the authority of democracy. It also shows when the authority of democracy runs out. It shows how the violations of democratic and liberal rights are beyond the legitimate authority of democracy and
how the creation of persistent minorities in a democratic society, and the failure to ensure a basic minimum for all persons, weaken the legitimate authority of democracy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 316 pages
  • 165 x 245 x 25mm | 631g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198297475
  • 9780198297475
  • 1,858,051

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. The Basis of Equality ; 2. Social Justice and Public Equality ; 3. Democracy as the Public Realization of Equality ; 4. An Egalitarian Conception of Liberal Rights ; 5. Equality and Public Deliberation ; 6. The Authority of Democracy ; 7. The Limits of Democratic Authority
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Review quote

In the literature of political theory it is widely held that the ideals of democracy and liberal rights are in tension. Famously, Issiah Berlin argued that this tension should be accepted as a result of value pluralism. Thomas Christiano's The Constitution of Equality offers an extremely original, insightful and important break with this widely accepted understanding ... a major achievement in democratic theory. * Corey Brettschneider, Journal of Politics *
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About Thomas Christiano

Thomas Christiano is Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of Arizona. He is the co-director of the Rogers Program in Law and Society, in the College of Law at the University of Arizona. He has been a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, a visiting fellow at the Research School of the Social Sciences at Australian National University and a fellow of the National Humanities Center. He has published articles widely in the areas of democratic theory,
distributive justice, and political philosophy.
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Rating details

6 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
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4 33% (2)
3 50% (3)
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