Unjust Equal Relations

Economics and Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

According to relational egalitarianism, justice requires equal relations. In this paper, I ask the question: can equal relations be unjust according to relational egalitarianism? I argue that while on some conceptions of relational egalitarianism, equal relations cannot be unjust, there are conceptions in which equal relations can be unjust. Surprisingly, whether equal relations can be unjust cuts across the distinction between responsibility-sensitive and non-responsibility-sensitive conceptions of relational egalitarianism. I then show what follows if one accepts a conception in which equal relations can be unjust, including why it provides a reason to grant some people less political power than others.

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Andreas Bengtson
Aarhus University

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