Rethinking Equality

The challenge of equal citizenship

This book provides a critical account of contemporary egalitarian theories. It challenges their focus on issues of choice and personal responsibility, and questions their ability to address the major inequalities that characterise the contemporary world, before presenting an alternative vision of egalitarian politics based on the challenge of a genuinely inclusive form of citizenship. This vision is defended through a critical discussion of four key issues in political theory: the recognition/redistribution debate, the connection between equality and responsibility, the ideal of equal opportunities, and the significance of ‘globalisation’ for the politics of equal citizenship. The book provides a critical account of the most important contemporary egalitarian theories, including the work of John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin and the luck egalitarians, Anne Phillips, Iris Young and Nancy Fraser. It also relates these theories to contemporary political (and especially citizenship) practice, assessing them in relation to the impact of neoliberalism on contemporary welfare states, and the shift from ‘social’ to ‘active’ forms of citizenship.

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