Scales of Justice by Nancy Fraser
Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World (New Directions in Critical Theory)

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Synopsis

Until recently, struggles for justice proceeded against the background of a taken-for-granted frame: the bounded territorial state. With that "Westphalian" picture of political space assumed by default, the scope of justice was rarely subject to open dispute. Today, however, human-rights activists and international feminists join critics of structural adjustment and the World Trade Organization in challenging the view that justice can only be a domestic relation among fellow citizens. Targeting injustices that cut across borders, they are making the scale of justice an object of explicit struggle.

Inspired by these efforts, Nancy Fraser asks: What is the proper frame for theorizing justice? Faced with a plurality of competing scales, how do we know which one is truly just? In exploring these questions, Fraser revises her widely discussed theory of redistribution and recognition. She introduces a third, "political" dimension of justice& mdash;representation& mdash;and elaborates a new, reflexive type of critical theory that foregrounds injustices of "misframing." Engaging with thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt, she envisions a "postwestphalian" mapping of political space that accommodates transnational solidarity, transborder publicity, and democratic frame-setting, as well as emancipatory projects that cross borders. The result is a sustained reflection on who should count with respect to what in a globalizing world.

 

About Nancy Fraser

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Nancy Fraser is Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics at the New School for Social Research, Einstein Fellow of the city of Berlin, and holder of the “Global Justice” Chair at the Collège d’études mondiales in Paris. Her books include Redistribution or Recognition; Adding Insult to Injury; Scales of Justice; Justice Interruptus; and Unruly Practices.
 
Published December 29, 2008 by Columbia University Press. 236 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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