Lea Ypi

in Global Justice and Avant-Garde Political Agency

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199593873
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731426 | DOI:

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This chapter introduces the role of avant-garde political agency in constructing an appropriate account of the relation between normative principles and political agency. The case of global justice is presented as one example in the pursuit of what is called activist political theory, a mode of theorizing interested not only in the identification of justice-based concerns but also in guiding transformative political action. Whilst placing the familiar controversy between statists and cosmopolitans within a more fundamental dispute concerning the relationship between ideal and nonideal approaches, the author endorses a dialectical alternative. This alternative, it is argued, can guide a theory able to both defend global egalitarianism at the level of principle and to render it politically and motivationally effective at the level of agency.

Keywords: justice; egalitarianism; activism; ideal; nonideal; avant-garde; conceptual innovation; dialectic; principles; agency

Chapter.  3832 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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