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The Borders of Justice

Etienne Balibar

Publication Year: 2012

International in scope and featuring a diverse group of contributors, The Borders of Justice investigates the complexities of transitional justice that emerge from its “social embeddedness.” This original and provocative collection of essays, which stem from a collective research program on social justice undertaken by the Calcutta Research Group, confronts the concept and practices of justice. The editors and contributors question the relationship between geography, methodology, and justice—how and why justice is meted out differently in different places.

Expanding on Michael Walzer's idea of the “spheres of justice,” the contributors argue that justice is burdened with our notions of social realities and expectations, in addition to the influence of money, law, and government. Chapters provide close readings of Pascal, Plato and Marx, theories on global justice, the relationship between liberalism and multiculturalism, struggles of social injustice, and how and where we draw the borders of justice.

Published by: Temple University Press

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Editors’ Introduction

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pp. 1-8

Although the theme of justice has occupied a high ground in philosophical discussions since the beginning of political philosophy, in terms of democracy and popular politics, its exact meaning and implications have been nebulous, in part because justice, in reality, is a meeting ground...

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1. Justice and Equality: A Political Dilemma? Pascal, Plato, Marx

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pp. 9-31

The title of my presentation should not be misleading: I will certainly not defend the idea that we should choose between the values designated by the names “justice” and “equality,” which to me are inseparable (in this sense, I gladly inscribe myself in a long tradition of republican and...

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2. Global Justice and Politics: On the Transition from the Normative to the Political Level

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pp. 33-51

The issue of global justice encompasses the conflict between a normative universal scope of justice and a particular one. It draws from the well-known debate of the 1980s between normative universalism on the one hand and communitarianism or contextualism on the other...

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3. Traversing the Borders of Liberalism: Can There Be a Liberal Multiculturalism?

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pp. 53-77

The borders of liberalism have been subjected to two sustained assaults in the past few decades: those of communitarianism and those of multiculturalism. I call these critiques assaults on the borders because the essence of both is that liberalism fails to include fundamental phenomena within its purview. ...

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4. The Long March from the Margins: Subaltern Politics, Justice, and Nature in Postcolonial India

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pp. 79-98

Subaltern power: to canonical subaltern studies this would be an oxymoron, as this field of study has written subalterns out of the history of the sources of modern power, such as the state, law, science, planning, and so on. Elsewhere, I have sketched out an alternative approach to subaltern...

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5. Struggles of Justice: Political Discourses, Experiences, and Claims

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pp. 99-122

From Plato to Rawls, the notion of justice has been identified by many philosophers in the history of Western philosophy as the main topic of political philosophy, and it undoubtedly provides a good means to specify the relationships between political philosophy and philosophy. ...

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6. Aestheticizing Law into Justice: The Fetus in a Divided Planet

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pp. 123-143

Aesthetics and justice are two categories that, in certain senses, work beyond—while not altogether abandoning—the calculations of reason. This is not to say that reason can be reduced to calculability.1 To be cognizant of the incalculable is the call of reason; it is to be true to reason...

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7. The Justice-Seeking Subject

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pp. 145-166

Ever since the idea of constitutional justice has achieved the status of public domain, political parties, governmental departments, communities, groups, chambers of commerce, consumer sections, and sectional movements all look to constitutional recognition of their respective stands...

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8. Law’s Internationalization and Justice for the Citizens and Noncitizens in France

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pp. 167-180

Who are the subjects of justice? And how are the borders of justice traced from the point of view of law? These are crucial questions for any theory of justice. The devices and institutions that allow the justice-seeking subjects to articulate and translate their claims in the language of law...

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9. Borderscapes of Differential Inclusion: Subjectivity and Struggles on the Threshold of Justice’s Excess

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pp. 181-203

“Spheres of Justice” was the title of the Second Critical Studies Conference, held by the Calcutta Research Group in Kolkata in September 2007. What sense does it make to collocate the concepts of spheres and justice? For us, this is not an innocent move. ...


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pp. 205-207


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pp. 209-216

E-ISBN-13: 9781439906873
Print-ISBN-13: 9781439906866

Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2012