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Michael C. LaBelle

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Edited by Trudie Knijn and Dorota Lepianka

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Nicholas Khoo

This chapter identifies and interrogates a variety of influential understandings of China as an international actor. These include conceptions of China as a trading state; an identity state; a social state; an innenpolitik state; and a neorealist state in its offensive, defensive, and neoclassical realist versions. These conceptions are evaluated both theoretically and empirically. This book seeks to make a contribution to the literature by advancing a reformulated neorealist analysis of China’s East Asia policy.

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Başak Akkan and Ayşe Buğra

This chapter discusses the systems of education in six countries by examining the discourses which shape the prevailing ideas on education within the political frames in which inequalities are constructed. It investigates the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion affecting minorities and other vulnerable groups in the system of education as an area where the manifestation of the two dimensions of justice pertaining to recognition and representation could be traced. The central question in the chapter is: To which extent can education be considered as a space of inclusion where the tension between equality and difference can be resolved in a way to contribute to the children’s well-being and the development of their capabilities. The chapter argues that the life chances of students are significantly determined by the sense of belonging in an inclusionary education system. The exclusionary dynamics created by experiences of alienation/discrimination which affect school performance limit the contribution education is expected to make to capability development for children from minority groups. The inclusionary features of a system of education, which recognizes differences of social and cultural background and values the parental choice, have implications for the development of the capabilities of children. However, how do the demands and choices of parents from minority groups relate to the well-being and capabilities of their children? The chapter draws on the capability approach to explore the conditions which allow individuals to make the choices that matter to them to pursue their valued ends of life and highlights the transformative character of education in an inquiry into the ways in which the tensions between equality and difference or between different definitions of good life and the development of a sense of belonging in society emerge in the systems of education of different country cases.

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Trudie Knijn and Dorota Lepianka

At the time we conducted our research, wrote our chapters and composed this book, the Corona virus and the pandemic it caused was far behind the horizon. Today, ‘old normality’ has disappeared, which allows and even urges for a concluding chapter that reflects on the meaning of justice in Europe in an era, when political, economic, social and cultural relations are undergoing a radical shake-up. What does this immense drama of 50,000 to 100,000 deaths in Europe tell us about justice on the continent? Do the principles of justice that we unraveled in our ETHOS study help us understand how Europe reacts to the needs of nation states and its populations, or are new principles applied? Are the already vulnerable populations sufficiently protected or have they become even more vulnerable? Have new categories of vulnerable populations come to the fore? And are old boundary lines that define the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of justice sustained, or resolved? Are new lines being drawn? In this concluding chapter we cautiously reflect on justice in Europe in the times of the Corona crisis, along the lines of representation, redistribution and recognition. We show that radical transformative politics that challenges structural as well as cultural relations is possible, but its long-term effects are dubious. In the end, in line with result of the ETHOS project, we propose combining the best possible affirmative strategies that are open for ‘second best’ remedies in everyday life with a more thorough analysis of structural injustices that could lead to transformative restructuring of the institutional context.

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Nicholas Khoo

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Barbara Oomen and Alexandra Timmer

A key aspect of investigating the foundations of justice in Europe is to understand how these were negotiated. Taking an empirical, grounded approach, this article focuses on the period starting with Roosevelt’s 1941 formulation of the Four Freedoms to be secured everywhere, for everyone in the world. This speech initiated a series of foundational moments, in which different conceptions of justice were tabled, to be enthusiastically embraced or ignored. The foundation of the EEC, with Europe’s four (market) freedoms in 1957 shows how – out of the wide range of conceptions of justice tabled in the post-War period – the emphasis came to lie on liberal freedoms, their protection by means of supranationalism, and peace. Justice notions such as Roosevelt’s freedom from want (distributive justice), and freedom from fear (security) were relegated to the second plane, only to surface again in discussions on justice in Europe many years later.

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Marie-Pierre Granger and Orsolya Salát

Scholars disagree as to whether law ought to include justice considerations, and whether it can effectively address injustices, such as misrepresentation, maldistribution or misrecognition, through the conferral and enforcement of legal rights. In this chapter, we address these questions, drawing on research carried in the ETHOS project involving a theoretically informed ‘black-letter’ law analysis of international, European, national and local legal frameworks which regulate voting, housing and education in six European countries (Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey and the United Kingdom). We outline the relative importance of rights as a vehicle for justice in the European context, before introducing key theoretical debates on the relationship between law and justice, and relevant conceptual features of legal rights, pointing to some of the challenges of framing different justice claims as rights in Europe. We then explore the scope and limits of addressing injustices through invoking and enforcing rights, by analysing how legal systems approach justice claims as legal rights and how they manage the confrontation between competing conceptions or dimensions of justice, expressed as conflicts between rights, between rights and other legally protected interests, between overlapping and competing legal orders, and between law and politics (judicial deference). We conclude on the implications for achieving greater justice in Europe, and in particular the prioritization of certain justice claims, groups, or processes over others. In relation to the rights and policy contexts explored (vote, housing, education), the framing of justice claims as rights serves better the recognitive justice claims of selected groups, but struggled with promoting more equalitarian redistributive justice or challenging institutional obstacle to equal political representation.

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Miklós Zala, Simon Rippon, Tom Theuns, Sem de Maagt and Bert van den Brink

This chapter describes how philosophical theorizing about justice can be connected with empirical research in the social sciences. We begin by drawing on some received distinctions between ideal and non-ideal approaches to theorizing justice along several different dimensions, showing how non-ideal approaches are needed to address normative aspects of real-world problems and to provide practical guidance. We argue that there are advantages to a transitional approach to justice focusing on manifest injustices, including the fact that it enables us to set aside some reasonable disagreements about justice. The ‘bottom-up’ approach we advocate, for which we borrow Wolff’s term ‘real-world political philosophy’, is an empirically-informed normative analysis that attends to specific, identifiable injustices, and thus is partial, though not isolationist. We illustrate our approach by considering how different models of the nature of disability suggest different kinds of remedy for injustices faced by persons living with disabilities. We reflect on the nature and significance of vulnerabilities, and we assess the role of public opinion in normative theorizing, suggesting a particular significance for the opinions and experiences of marginalized groups. We finally reflect on the relevance of European legal and institutional frameworks for theorizing justice in Europe.

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Barbara Safradin and Sybe de Vries

The European Union’s (EU) response to the crisis of 2008 has jeopardized vulnerable groups, including the elderly, youth, persons with disabilities and migrants. Citizens’ social rights are strongly related or based upon the core values of ‘equal treatment and respect’ and ‘freedom’, which the European Union is founded upon. However, the degree to which European states meet ideals of distributive, representative, or recognitive justice varies widely and austerity measures have resulted in the unfair distribution of resources, which fuels deprivation of social rights and inequality within and between societies, leading to problems in effectuating justice ideals for European citizens. In this chapter we will discuss the specific role of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (EU Charter) and the Council of Europe Social Charter (Social Charter) in times of crisis and beyond, their mutual relationship and whether the fundamental social rights laid down therein could constitute a real counterweight to austerity measures and could diminish social injustice. As such, the notion of distributive justice (redistribution of wealth and resources), representative justice (level of representation in the institutions such as trade unions and before courts) and recognitive justice (vulnerability in the socio-cultural sphere) are considered in the context of social justice. To this end, a desktop and doctrinal research was carried out of key legal instruments, their interpretation by legal bodies (i.e. CJEU, ECSR, national courts), and other EU and CoE documents, on the European Charters in relation to social (in)justice, freedom and equality.