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Political Responsibility Refocused

Political Responsibility Refocused: Thinking Justice after Iris Marion Young

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 184
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  • Book Info
    Political Responsibility Refocused
    Book Description:

    Political Responsibility Refocusedexplores the theoretical foundations and practical implications of individual and collective responsibility towards those who are spatially or temporally separate from us.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6576-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. 1 Political Responsibility Refocused
    (pp. 3-20)

    Inspired by the last few published writings of Iris Marion Young, this collection of essays explores the conceptual foundations and practical implications of contemporary understandings of political responsibility that challenge the spatial and temporal boundaries of more traditional theories. As Young highlighted towards the end of her life, we live in an age in which we have become acutely aware of our interconnectivity, our vulnerability to chance, and the potentially limitless reach of our actions. This heightened understanding of the global contexts of politics, culture, economics, and the environment, in which even the most apparently local actions can have far-reaching...

  5. 2 Global Justice and the Connection Theory of Responsibility
    (pp. 21-41)

    This chapter focuses on the concept of responsibility as it has figured in scholarly debates in global justice. The issue of responsibility is central in the global justice literature in part because there are few agents and institutions that have been assigned or have taken responsibility for addressing global injustices. Many duties that we might think of as taking hold at the global level (e.g., duties to alleviate severe poverty, help the sick, protect human rights, and create more fair institutions) are imperfect in the sense that while everyone may be said to have them, no one in particular can...

  6. 3 Power and Responsibility
    (pp. 42-62)

    Ours is a time of crisis. Much of the world confronts a serious economic and financial collapse, of which the recent implosion of the US housing market and huge job losses across that country are but two symptoms. This crisis has had far-reaching implications for ordinary Americans and for US domestic and foreign policy, and most recently has led to a downgrading of the US credit rating for the first time in almost a century. In addition, climate change – a problem famously neglected by the Bush administration – is once again being taken seriously as a threat to human...

  7. 4 Autonomous Development and Global Empowerment
    (pp. 63-77)

    Inspired by the emergence and transformative potential of a transnational public sphere, Iris Marion Young tackled problems of global justice in her later essays, with interesting implications for conceptualizing political responsibility beyond borders.¹ In these works, Young engaged with issues as wide-ranging as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, trends in American foreign policy, the NATO intervention in Kosovo, the global anti-sweatshop movement, and aboriginal self-governance.

    In this chapter, I bring together diverse aspects of Youngʹs work to construct a new paradigm of ʺautonomous developmentʺ that can support a feminist agenda of global empowerment. This agenda...

  8. 5 Political Responsibility for Decolonization in Canada
    (pp. 78-101)

    Theoretical models of political responsibility, including those articulated by Iris Marion Young, offer helpful insights into a range of pressing questions of justice. The issue I consider here is decolonization. Questions of decolonization in Canada are illuminated by models of political responsibility, but they also reveal some of the limitations of these models.

    Conceptions of political responsibility can help to clarify, if not wholly resolve, who should take responsibility for which dimensions of the complex project of decolonization. At the same time, there is no one single model of political responsibility that will make sense of the whole picture of...

  9. 6 Social Connections and Our Political Responsibilities to Future Generations
    (pp. 102-121)

    Since the 1970s, a number of interesting writings have emerged concerning the moral status of future persons and generations and our responsibilities to them.¹ These writings raise several very difficult questions. For instance, how should we conceptualize our moral relationship to or with future persons and generations? Should we include consideration of them in decisions that could affect their lives? Should we consider them in public policy decisions that may have consequences for how they collectively live? If so, should we consider their rights or interests? Should we consider these rights or interests on par with ours? Are members of...

  10. 7 Political Practices as Performances of Political Responsibility
    (pp. 122-143)

    In her 2004 article ʺResponsibility and Global Labor Justice,ʺ Iris Marion Young spells out the criteria for a conception of political responsibility that she distinguishes from a liability model of responsibility.¹ One of the major differences between these two conceptions lies in the fact that, according to Young, the liability model of responsibility does not apply to the production of structural injustice. The liability model ʺderives from legal reasoning to find guilt or fault for a harmʺ² and is based on the idea of individually attributable actions. This line of thinking assigns ʺresponsibility to particular agents whose actions can be...

  11. 8 Institutional Responsibility and Belonging in Political Community
    (pp. 144-160)

    In a globalizing world, an urgent problem concerns how to structure institutions in order to meet collective responsibilities. These responsibilities, Iris Marion Young has argued, reach beyond personal responsibility:

    Obligations of social justice are not primarily owed by individuals to individuals. Instead, they concern primarily the organization of institutions. Individuals usually cannot act alone to promote justice; they must act collectively to adjust the terms of their relationships and rectify the unjust consequences of past and present social structures, whether intended or not. They need authoritative institutions through which to act collectively.¹

    While a growing literature addresses transnational or cosmopolitan...

  12. List of Contributors
    (pp. 161-162)
  13. Index
    (pp. 163-175)