A General Theory of Domination and Justice

Paperback | February 13, 2013

byFrank Lovett

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In all societies, past and present, many persons and groups have been subject to domination. Properly understood, domination is a great evil, the suffering of which ought to be minimized so far as possible. Surprisingly, however, political and social theorists have failed to provide a detailedanalysis of the concept of domination in general. This study aims to redress this lacuna. It argues first, that domination should be understood as a condition experienced by persons or groups to the extent that they are dependent on a social relationship in which some other person or group wieldsarbitrary power over them; this is termed the "arbitrary power conception" of domination. It argues second, that we should regard it as wrong to perpetrate or permit unnecessary domination and, thus, that as a matter of justice the political and social institutions and practices of any society should be organized so as to minimize avoidable domination; this is termed "justice asminimizing domination", a conception of social justice that connects with more familiar civic republican accounts of freedom as non-domination. In developing these arguments, this study employs a variety of methodological techniques - including conceptual analysis, formal modelling, social theory,and moral philosophy; existing accounts of dependency, power, social convention, and so on are clarified, expanded, or revised along the way. While of special interest to contemporary civic republicans, this study should appeal to a broad audience with diverse methodological and substantiveinterests.

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In all societies, past and present, many persons and groups have been subject to domination. Properly understood, domination is a great evil, the suffering of which ought to be minimized so far as possible. Surprisingly, however, political and social theorists have failed to provide a detailedanalysis of the concept of domination in ge...

Frank Lovett was, from 2008 - 2009, a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He received his PhD in Political Science from Columbia University in 2004, and prior to coming to Washington University he held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Clinical Bioethi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:February 13, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199672997

ISBN - 13:9780199672998

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Table of Contents

1. IntroductionPart One: Descriptive Analysis2. Social Relationships and Dependency3. The Imbalance of Power Conception4. Arbitrariness and Social ConventionsPart Two: Normative Analysis5. Domination and Human Flourishing6. Domination and Justice7. Applications of Minimizing Domination8. ConclusionAppendix I: Historical Notes on 'Domination'Appendix II: Formal Models of DominationBibliography

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "It is surprising that a phenomenon of such obvious political and ethical significance as domination has largely escaped comprehensive analysis in the modern debate. As the title of Frank Lovett's book suggests, however, he aims to do something about thisunfortunate fact. The result is a well researched and well argued book that deserves attention...Lovett has thrown much needed light on a politically and morally consequential matter, and produced a work of impressive comprehensiveness in the process. Political philosophers and theorists will findmuch to engage with." --The Philosophical Quarterly