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The Heart of JusticeCare ethics and Political Theory$
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Daniel Engster

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214358

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214358.001.0001

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Care Theory and Economic Justice

Care Theory and Economic Justice

(p.117) 3 Care Theory and Economic Justice
The Heart of Justice

Daniel Engster (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Political and economic theorists have generally ignored caring practices in outlining accounts of economic justice. Building upon the work of recent feminist theorists, this chapter develops a theory of economic justice organized around caring practices. The first section outlines the basic concepts and normative orientation of a caring economic theory. The second section discusses Virginia Held's and Nancy Folbre's important accounts of care and economic justice. While Held and Folbre identify some of the central tenets of a caring economic theory, they focus primarily on supporting and regulating direct care services within the economy. The book's own approach is broader and more far‐reaching, asking how we can best organize our general economic institutions and policies to provide all individuals with a real opportunity to give and receive adequate care. The third section takes up this subject by exploring the economic system (communism, market socialism, market capitalism, etc.) most conducive to caring values. In the fourth section, it formulates six general principles for establishing and maintaining a caring economic order, and describes in some detail the economic policies following from them. The final section briefly explores the viability of a caring economic order in the context of globalization.

Keywords:   capitalism, care ethics, domestic labor, economic justice, feminist economics, globalization, Nancy Folbre, Polanyi, socialism, Virginia Held

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