Justifying Statism: A Methodological Critique

Laura Valentini

in Justice in a Globalized World

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199593859
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731457 | DOI:
Justifying Statism: A Methodological Critique

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This chapter identifies and discusses the methodological flaws that make statism excessively subservient to the status quo. It focuses on three methodological commitments on the basis of which statist conclusions have been advocated. These are (a) the view that principles of justice are constructed by interpreting the values informing the specific practices they aim to regulate; (b) the view that principles of justice can only guide the conduct of authoritative agents, such as the state; and (c) the view that principles of justice apply only in the presence of specific cooperative or coercive relations. The chapter shows that all of these methodological commitments contain a bias in favour of the status quo, preventing the principles developed on their basis from being genuinely critical and action-guiding.

Keywords: statism; interpretation; authority; ought implies can; coercion; cooperation; status-quo bias; institution-building; action-guidance; John Rawls

Chapter.  12370 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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