Narratives of Justice
Legislators' Beliefs about Distributive Fairness
Publication Year: 1996
Published by: University of Michigan Press
I have accumulated many debts in the course of this project. Obviously, I could not have embarked on or completed it without the cooperation of thirty-five Connecticut state senators, and thus I thank them first. But lowe my greatest single debt to David Mayhew, who has cheerfully nurtured and endured the project's entire life, ...
The issue of distributive justice has inflamed the human mind for as long as it can remember. In the name of justice, citizens have instituted wholesale changes in their governing arrangements, revolted against their own governments, and fought wars against other nations. ...
2. Beliefs, Behavior, and Narratives
Any study that concentrates on deep political beliefs such as those about distributive justice must overcome many challenges. Before anything else, we must properly understand these beliefs themselves, and approach them in a way that yields clear evidence and politically relevant conceptions, as well as theories ...
3. The Critic's Narrative
Nine of the senators, a quarter of those interviewed, fit the mold of the critic. Their narrative may startle. What makes the account presented here particularly surprising and interesting is the fact that it is the product of a group of established, elected politicians. Although the stories these nine senators tell vary in significant ways, ...
4. The Supporter's Narrative
In comparison to the critic's narrative, the supporter's narrative occupies more familiar American terrain. Although the stories that the supporters tell vary in significant ways, they are held together by views about economic justice that we would associate with a conservative position. ...
5. The Ambivalent's Narrative
It would be tempting to assume that what I have called the "ambivalent's narrative" consists simply of an amalgamation of disparate parts of the critic's and supporter's narratives, that it is only a residual category of responses lacking an evident narrative structure (albeit a large residual category). ...
6. How the Narratives Play Out: Three Bills
We have now heard the respective narratives of justice. In this and the following chapter I wish to examine the effects of the senators' beliefs on their actual behavior during the 1988 legislative session, the session in which the interviews took place. For many political scientists and political observers, the uncovering of these connections ...
7. Beliefs and the Influences on Legislative Behavior
People are motivated to go [to the senate] for a variety of reasons. There are crusaders, there are people who want to have their influence on public policy in terms of that. And there are those who are caught by the whole political bug .... And then there are others who want personal gain. ...
In this final chapter I wish to return to a consideration of the narratives themselves, but from a different, more speculative perspective. Do the narratives of justice have any implications for our understanding of contemporary American politics, and American political ideology and political beliefs? ...
Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 1996
OCLC Number: 642206225
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