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Capabilities in a Just Society
A Theory of Navigational Agency


  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108473262

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • What sort of entitlements should citizens have in a just society? In this book, Rutger Claassen sets out a theory of what he terms 'navigational agency', whereby citizens should be able to navigate freely between social practices. This shows how individuals can be at the same time free and autonomous in striving for their own goals in life, but also embedded in social practices in which they have to cooperate with others. He argues that for navigational agency, people need three sets of core capabilities: those which allow human empowerment in civil society, a decent level of socio-economic subsistence, and political participation in democratic decision-making procedures. The idea of navigational agency, the book argues, provides an alternative to currently dominant versions of the capability approach to social justice, and strengthens its liberal foundations.

    • Proposes a new capability theory of social justice
    • Proposes a new conception of autonomous agency as 'navigational agency'
    • Makes the capability approach concrete by discussing capabilities for human empowerment, subsistence and democratic participation
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108473262
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Positioning the Capability Approach In Political Theory:
    1. Liberalism: combining perfectionism and neutrality
    Part II. The Theory of Navigational Agency:
    2. An agency-based capability theory of justice
    3. Justifying the right to navigational agency
    4. The distribution of capabilities
    Part III. Three Sets of Basic Capabilities:
    5. Empowerment capabilities and civil freedom
    6. Subsistence capabilities and socio-economic justice
    7. Political capabilities and democracy

  • Author

    Rutger Claassen, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Rutger Claassen is Associate Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands. He has published in journals such as British Journal of Political Science, Economics & Philosophy, European Journal of Philosophy, Law and Philosophy, and Politics, Philosophy & Economics.

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