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Democratic Justice and the Social Contract$
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Albert Weale

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199684649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684649.001.0001

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The sense of democratic justice

The sense of democratic justice

(p.221) Chapter 8 The sense of democratic justice
Democratic Justice and the Social Contract

Albert Weale

Oxford University Press

A well functioning social contract will promote the common interests of political associates. However, this does not imply political consensus among associates. Hence political institutions will need to be broadly representative. Equal power in society is rare, but this does not invalidate the empirical method. Community tradition is not a substitute for democratic negotiation. The sense of political equality connected to a sense of justice involves self-assertion. However, democratic justice does not involve only self-assertion. There must be a willingness to cooperate in particular respects. Governance in the form of monitoring and punishment are necessary. Civic pride is only possible where associates cooperate to produce social justice. Whilst the associates of a just social contract can be for themselves, they can never be only for themselves

Keywords:   common interests, consensus, community, equality of power, governance, civic pride

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