Democracy and Social Justice

The new special issue of the journal Studies in Social Justice may be of interest to this forum, although only one of the papers (my own) is specifically on sortition. Full text freely available on line.


Guest Editor: Bob Brecher


Introduction: Democracy and Social Justice, Bob Brecher


Property, Propriety and Democracy, Mark Devenney
Jürgen Habermas and Bush’s Neoconservatives: Too Close for Comfort?, Vivienne Matthies-Boon
Inclusion and Participation: Working with the Tensions, Gideon Calder
The Two Sides of the Representative Coin, Keith Sutherland
The Dilemma of Democracy: Collusion and the State of Exception, Mark McGovern
Derrida, Democracy and Violence, Nick Mansfield

6 Responses

  1. I was going to say that “Social Justice” is usually a weasel word for communism. However I thought I should first follow the link and read it a little. Having read the abstract for the first article I can confirm with some certainty that my first instinct was correct.


  2. Leaving aside the delicious irony of my publishing a paper in a “communist” journal (I’m usually characterised as slightly to the right of Attilla the Hun), I’m inclined to agree with Hayek’s view that adding the adjective “social” to any noun has the effect of reversing its meaning. I only published in this journal because the editor invited me to and I’m happy to say my own piece is entirely untouched by Pravda:


  3. PS: What this exchange has shown is that people are attracted to sortition from right across the political spectrum and for very different reasons. Sortition is attractive to the left on account of its emphasis on equality and social justice, whereas TerjeP and myself are more interested in commonsense judgment, stemming the flow of the legislative tsunami and making sure that the trains run on time. Not only has this contributed to some lively exchanges on this forum, but it gives some hope that, in the long term, it might even be adopted, as it’s appeal is so wide.


  4. Keith,

    I agree. People who trust or hope that the merits of their views would prevail if only everybody could be reasoned with, have a natural liking of sortition. Wouldn’t it be nice if politics was all about researching facts and mustering the most powerful case possible for a proposal, rather than attacking and demonizing an opponent.


  5. I think that points to a criterion for a good legislative system, although I don’t know what to call it. A good legislative system should promote respectful conversation and action, especially among people with divergent views (most of the systems we have promote zero-sum competition).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: