The Borders of Justice

The Borders of Justice

Étienne Balibar
Sandro Mezzadra
Ranabir Samaddar
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 216
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Borders of Justice
    Book Description:

    International in scope and featuring a diverse group of contributors,The Borders of Justiceinvestigates the complexities of transitional justice that emerge from its "social embeddedness." This original and provocative collection of essays, which stem from a collective research program on social justice undertaken by the Calcutta Research Group, confronts the concept and practices of justice. The editors and contributors question the relationship between geography, methodology, and justice-how and why justice is meted out differently in different places.

    Expanding on Michael Walzer's idea of the "spheres of justice," the contributors argue that justice is burdened with our notions of social realities and expectations, in addition to the influence of money, law, and government. Chapters provide close readings of Pascal, Plato and Marx, theories on global justice, the relationship between liberalism and multiculturalism, struggles of social injustice, and how and where we draw the borders of justice.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-0687-3
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. Editors’ Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)
    Étienne Balibar, Sandro Mezzadra and Ranabir Samaddar

    Although the theme of justice has occupied a high ground in philosophical discussions since the beginning of political philosophy, in terms of democracy and popular politics, its exact meaning and implications have been nebulous, in part because justice, in reality, is a meeting ground of many ideas, situations, concepts, expectations, mechanisms, and practices. Many things intersect to form the context of social justice: ethical ideas of the people, laws, the evolving nature of claims, the pattern of collective claim-making politics, institutional issues relating to the delivery mechanisms of justice, ideas about rights and entitlements, ideas among the citizens about the...

  4. 1 Justice and Equality: A Political Dilemma? Pascal, Plato, Marx
    (pp. 9-32)
    Étienne Balibar

    The title of my presentation should not be misleading: I will certainly not defend the idea that we should choose between the values designated by the names “justice” and “equality,” which to me are inseparable (in this sense, I gladly inscribe myself in a long tradition of republican and democratic thinkers who proclaimed their inseparability).¹ But I want to draw attention to the fact that their articulation remains theoretically and practically problematic, and the tighter the relationship we establish between them, which culminates in a definition of each term through the mediation of the other, the more this becomes the...

  5. 2 Global Justice and Politics: On the Transition from the Normative to the Political Level
    (pp. 33-52)
    Francisco Naishtat

    The issue ofglobal justiceencompasses the conflict between a normative universal scope of justice and a particular one. it draws from the well-known debate of the 1980s between normative universalism on the one hand and communitarianism or contextualism on the other; that is, it is an issue of normative universalism as an a priori regulative ideal, either as a Platonic or Kantian foundation of justice, so that any particular claim of justice would be manifest as an outcome of that universal foundation. In this chapter, I attempt to address thepolitical issueofglobal justice—namely, the controversial issue...

  6. 3 Traversing the Borders of Liberalism: Can There Be a Liberal Multiculturalism?
    (pp. 53-78)
    Juha Rudanko

    The borders of liberalism have been subjected to two sustained assaults in the past few decades: those of communitarianism and those of multiculturalism. I call these critiques assaults on the borders because the essence of both is that liberalism fails to include fundamental phenomena within its purview. Both communitarians and multiculturalists aim to show that the borders of liberalism are too tight: too many morally relevant claims are left outside, or alternatively, too many people are left outside. The communitarian claim is that the fundamental human need for community is ignored by liberalism, which is obsessed with individuals; the multicultural...

  7. 4 The Long March from the Margins: Subaltern Politics, Justice, and Nature in Postcolonial India
    (pp. 79-98)
    Subir Sinha

    Subaltern power: to canonical subaltern studies this would be an oxymoron, as this field of study has written subalterns out of the history of the sources of modern power, such as the state, law, science, planning, and so on. Elsewhere, I have sketched out an alternative approach to subaltern politics, one that sees through the social movements of subalterns their role in constituting key aspects of modernity (Sinha 2009). Here, I make a limited claim: the modernity that we inhabit today is one that bears the traces of subaltern power, not only as a source of opposition to the projects...

  8. 5 Struggles of Justice: Political Discourses, Experiences, and Claims
    (pp. 99-122)
    Emmanuel Renault

    From Plato to Rawls, the notion of justice has been identified by many philosophers in the history of Western philosophy as the main topic of political philosophy, and it undoubtedly provides a good means to specify the relationships between political philosophy and philosophy. Since many, if not all, political conflicts tackle the issues of justice and injustice, it might be concluded, following Plato or Rawls among others, that philosophy as a theory of justice is one of continuation of politics. Conversely, since politics is specified by the conflicts of justice that philosophy strives to overcome, it might be considered that...

  9. 6 Aestheticizing Law into Justice: The Fetus in a Divided Planet
    (pp. 123-144)
    Anirban Das

    Aesthetics and justice are two categories that, in certain senses, work beyond—while not altogether abandoning—the calculations of reason. This is not to say that reason can be reduced to calculability.¹ To be cognizant of the incalculable is the call of reason; it is to be true to reason, to be reasonable in an extended sense, not circumscribing reason to what is amenable to calculations. Both these categories—aesthetics and justice—involvedecidingthe moment ofresponsibilitytosingularitiesofevents. They work differently yet in proximity.

    I am using a very specific sense of “law” and a specific...

  10. 7 The Justice-Seeking Subject
    (pp. 145-166)
    Ranabir Samaddar

    Ever since the idea of constitutional justice has achieved the status of public domain, political parties, governmental departments, communities, groups, chambers of commerce, consumer sections, and sectional movements all look to constitutional recognition of their respective stands on justice as the mark of final approval. All other ideas of justice—moral, ethical, psychic, political, and economic—have given way to the most abstract form, the idea of constitutional justice. The justice-bearing provisions in the Indian constitution are not understood as isolated dots; together with liberty-bearing provisions, they are considered an independent, coherent domain with strictly determined connections to the entire...

  11. 8 Law’s Internationalization and Justice for the Citizens and Noncitizens in France
    (pp. 167-180)
    Jean-Louis Halpérin

    Who are the subjects of justice? And how are the borders of justice traced from the point of view of law? These are crucial questions for any theory of justice. The devices and institutions that allow the justice-seeking subjects to articulate and translate their claims in the language of law play, of course, a key role in any given historical regime of justice. In the modern European experience, the nation-state has successfully imposed itself as the “container” of justice: its courts have become the privileged points of reference for justice-seeking subjects—that is, for itscitizens. Nevertheless, while other instances...

  12. 9 Borderscapes of Differential Inclusion: Subjectivity and Struggles on the Threshold of Justice’s Excess
    (pp. 181-204)
    Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson

    “Spheres of Justice” was the title of the Second Critical Studies Conference, held by the Calcutta Research Group in Kolkata in September 2007. What sense does it make to collocate the concepts of spheres and justice? For us, this is not an innocent move. Both the concept of justice and that of the sphere conjure up notions of perfectibility. The sphere is that most faultless of voluminous forms. In ancient cosmology, it provided the basis for semimystical notions of harmony: the music of the spheres. It is the billiard balls of modern mechanics, the very symbols of cause and effect....

  13. Contributors
    (pp. 205-208)
  14. Index
    (pp. 209-216)