Monday, December 19, 2016

New Book on Property-Owning Democracy

Republic of Equals
Predistribution and Property-Owning Democracy

by Alan Thomas

(Oxford University Press, 2016)

472 pages


The first book length study of property-owning democracy, Republic of Equals argues that a society in which capital is universally accessible to all citizens is uniquely placed to meet the demands of justice. Arguing from a basis in liberal-republican principles, this expanded conception of the economic structure of society contextualizes the market to make its transactions fair. The author shows that a property-owning democracy structures economic incentives such that the domination of one agent by another in the market is structurally impossible. The result is a renovated form of capitalism in which the free market is no longer a threat to social democratic values, but is potentially convergent with them. It is argued that a property-owning democracy has advantages that give it priority over rival forms of social organization such as welfare state capitalism and market socialist institutions. The book also addresses the currently high levels of inequality in the societies of the developed West to suggest a range of policies that target the "New Inequality" of our times. 

Contents [preview]


1. Rawls, Republicanism and Liberal-Republicanism
2. Justice, Pareto and Equality
3. G. A. Cohen's Neo-Marxist Critique of Rawls
4. Three Forms of Republican Egalitarianism
5. A Liberal-Republican Economic System
6. Rawls's Critique of Welfare State Capitalism
7. Property-Owning Democracy Versus Market Socialism
8. Towards a Pluralistic Commonwealth
9. Classical Liberalism and Property-Owning Democracy
10. A Realistic Utopianism?
11. Inequality and Globalization
Conclusion: Nothing is Obvious

Alan Thomas is Professor of Ethics at the University of York. He is the author of "Value and Context: The Nature Of Moral And Political Knowledge" (Oxford University Press, 2006), "Bernard Williams" (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and "Thomas Nagel" (Routledge, 2008).

See also some of Alan Thomas's papers: 

* "Liberalism, Republicanism and the Idea of an Egalitarian Ethos" [pdf]

* "Rawls, Piketty and the New Inequality"

* "Rawls and Political Realism: Realistic Utopianism or Judgement in Bad Faith?" [pdf]

* "What Does A Liberal Society Demand Of Its Citizens?"

Alan Thomas is running a blog "ethicssocialphilosophy".

My previous blog posts on property-owning democracy here and here.

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