Justice and Equal Membership Accounts

Andrew Mason

in Living Together as Equals

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199606245
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741562 | DOI:
Justice and Equal Membership Accounts

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This chapter aims to achieve a better understanding of the relationship between the justice account and the equal membership account. Even if the justice account converges to a considerable degree with the equal membership account, they nevertheless remain distinct because they ground the duties of citizenship differently. There is no need to choose between them, however. This is partly because the justice account does not focus on the rights and duties of citizenship in particular, but instead is primarily concerned with working out what rights and duties are possessed by those who live together under the same institutions, which includes resident aliens. It would be misleading to paint too rosy a picture of the compatibility of the justice account and the equal membership account, however. For the justice account might seem to favour a principle for determining who should have a say in political decision-making that is incompatible with realising the good of equal membership because in practice it threatens the existence of political communities with relatively stable memberships.

Keywords: citizenship; resident aliens; political community; membership; boundaries

Chapter.  15409 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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