Almost all normative political research is informed by theories of justice and power Couloumbis and Wolfe, 77—8.
Three theorists are considered in this dissertation, and each has revolutionised practices in philosophy, law and political theory. The key findings of this dissertation therefore have relevance to theoretical debates across several disciplines, especially political theory. They result from answering the following Central Research Question:. This question forms three research aims. Answering each will also answer the central research question will also be answered. These aims are as follows:.
In the first chapter, the literature concerning justice and power will be reviewed.
The aims here are to link Rawls, Marx and Foucault to the wider debates between other historical theorists, to demonstrate the originality and relevance of this dissertation, and to state the texts most relevant for answering the [CRQ]. This chapter also accounts for the methodology of this dissertation, explaining the methods used to choose cases, why the cases were chosen, and how conceptions of justice and power have been operationalised.
The third chapter will answer aims [A] and [B]. By highlighting divergence between Marx and Rawls, they also answer part of the [B], which is to compare and contrast Rawls, Marx and Foucault so as to highlight areas of convergence and divergence between them.
The third aim [C] will be answered during the fourth and fifth chapters, which are the case study chapters. To answer this aim, the findings of aims [A] and [B] will be applied to two case studies. By answering [C], the second half of the [CRQ] will be answered. Crucially, the aim is to explain that the reason each theorist provides varied insights for contemporary issues is due to the similarities and differences revealed in the third chapter.
Again, this will be explained with reference to the findings of [A] and [B]. Finally, the second case study considers why Rawls excludes the cognitively disabled from participating in his theory. Here, an implication of aim [A]—that the knowledge with which Rawls constructed his theory is a function of power—will be applied.
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It will be argued that Marx and Foucault agree about this exclusion but explain it in different ways due to the findings of [B], namely that their views of power diverge. In this way, linking divergent explanations about cases to divergent conceptions of power is a direct answer to the central research question. This section places Rawls, Marx and Foucault in the context of other historical theorists of justice and power. The objectives are to: i establish which texts are most relevant for answering the central research question; and ii relate the differences and similarities between each theorist to the broader debates concerning justice and power.
One specific value was the Lockean view that a just social arrangement is chosen through, and is dependent upon, the consent of citizens Buckler, , —3; Friend, Rawls —1 argued that the outcome of his social contract—which he called the original position—would receive consent from all moral, rationally self-interested participants.
Likewise, both advocate deontological theories. Wolff Ibid.
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Crucially, Wolff does not himself advance it, and this leads to a significant gap in the literature, namely a latent objection. The justification for this decision is provided in the theoretical framework.
Within the literature on power, these objections culminated in the two-dimensional view of power. For Lukes, compliance can be secured through one- and two-dimensional forms of power. However, it can also be secured through the shaping of preferences, and in this sense observable conflict is not a necessary condition of power Lukes, 23—5.
This aspect, crucially, is that consent to domination can be secured tacitly, without an observable conflict of interests. Given the fact that [B] is necessary for answering [C] , all of these texts are essential for answering the [CRQ].
Comparing and contrasting Rawls, Marx and Foucault is therefore highly relevant, which is elevated by the use of contemporary rather than historical cases. The following section formulates and justifies the use of the Lukesian framework, which will be essential for aims [A] and [B], and explains the methodology of this dissertation.
After highlighting the key areas of convergence and divergence between Rawls, Marx and Foucault, thereby answering [B], the answers to [A] and [B] will be applied to the case studies to answer aim [C]. The insights that arise, which were outlined in the introduction, will answer the central research question. Hence, the theoretical framework is essential for answering [A] and [B], which are essential for answering the [CRQ].
Rather, it considers beliefs and desires to be shaped or determined by power.
With these assumptions, their decisions are considered to be free from manipulation, just like with one-dimensional power. This also seems to exclude the three-dimensional objections of Marxian and Foucauldian power. Crucially, it is not the case that Rawls dismisses their objections because he believes them to be false.
Rather, his assumptions simply limit the scope of inquiry, and Marx and Foucault are effectively held at arms-length.
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It will be argued that power constitutes knowledge, and that three-dimensional power must in turn be part of the original position when general knowledge is permitted. Two specific implications are found, which answer research aim [A].
These are that: i the compliance of participants in the original position is secured by three-dimensional power; and ii three-dimensional power is exercised upon and by Rawls. In other words, his compliance is tacitly secured by power, and he subsequently secures the compliance to domination of those influenced by his theory Lukes, These two implications answer part of aim [B], namely how Rawls diverges with Marx, and how Foucault converges in agreement with Marx about these two implications.
The final answer to [B], which has relevance for the second case study, is that, while Foucault and Marx converge in this respect, they hold conflicting views of power.
The key difference is that, whereas Marx views knowledge to be a function of the mode of production, Foucault views knowledge to be function of power without reference to productive relations. Once this divergence has been substantiated, all aspects of [A] and [B] will have been answered. The findings of [A] and [B] will then be applied to the case studies to answer the second half of the central research question, which constitutes aim [C].
Secondly, this answer will be challenged by implications i and ii , which are the findings of aim [A]. Only the areas of divergence between Rawls and Marx will be considered for the first case study, and the central research question will be answered by highlighting insights that arise in consequence, which were noted in the introduction. According to Nussbaum 98— , Rawls —5 excludes the cognitively disabled from the original position by assuming participants to be equally rational.
About this Marx and Foucault are in agreement, and the insights arising from this convergence will provide an answer to the central research question.
It has also explained how the findings of each research aim will be applied to the cases. The following section explains the methods used to choose cases, justifies the choice of cases, and attempts to operationalise the concepts of justice and power. Purposive sampling was used for two reasons.
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In other words, they are instrumental to understanding the areas of conflict and convergence between the three theorists, and to this effect were chosen for being the most effective at drawing out similarities and differences. By providing breadth and depth for comparison, the cases bring out the full scope of the findings of [B], which means that the analysis is exhaustive and unrestricted when answering the [CRQ]. The key findings of this dissertation would be devalued if the case-specific implications were ignored, even though the focus is theoretical.
Explaining cases that were excluded also justifies case selection.
For example, normative questions pertaining to policies regulating immigration were considered instead of the first case. Likewise, the treatment of prisoners was considered as an alternative to the second case.
However, scholars have written extensively on this topic, Foucault especially, whereas applying Foucault to the cognitively disabled has rarely been conducted, if ever, even more so with respect to their exclusion from the social contract. Finally, regarding issues of practicality, cases were limited geographically to the UK for reasons of availability and accessibility, which is also the justification for using contemporary rather than historical cases.
Additionally, data have been collected through method triangulation from a wide range of source material—news articles, journals and books—because this increases leads to more compelling findings Robson, For Marxian power, an indicator is class exploitation, which is systematized broadly as the forced performance of excess surplus by those who hold the means of production Rummel, The inability to operationalise power and justice is further heightened by the fact that both are essentially contested concepts, which causes low external validity.
This section has justified the method used to choose cases, and the choice of cases.
It has also operationalised, to some extent, the concepts of justice and power. Throughout, decisions were justified with reference to the [CRQ] and the research aims. Fulfilling aims [A] and [B] is the purpose of the following chapter, which begins by formulating Rawlsian justice.
In addition, contrasting and comparing all theorists is necessary for answering aim [B]. Crucially, the answers to aims [C] and the [CRQ], which are provided during the two case study chapters, depend on the findings of [A] and [B].
These are provided during this chapter, hence its relevance. With commitments to political liberalism and pluralism, then, he begins with a conception of justice that aims to formulate principles that citizens would voluntarily consent to and continually affirm. This procedure is the original position, which is, at the most basic level, a hypothetical social contract for choosing which principles should regulate society Swift, Rawls proposes this as a way to purge bias from the original position and the resulting principles of justice Swift, The intuitive idea is that participants choosing principles from behind a veil of ignorance would desire for other participants what they would desire for themselves, which ensures fairness Buckler, Fairness is also ensured through the characteristics of participants.
Rawls —5 assumes that that they are rationally self-interested, mutually disinterested, and do not suffer from envy. In turn, each seeks neither relative gains nor injury to others, but wishes only to advance his or her own system of ends. Again, this assumption ensures fair, unanimous agreement. Therefore principles chosen in the original position are just Pettit, Consequently, Rawls 3, 53, claims that rationally self-interested participants would choose, from a list of conceptions of justice, two principles of justice.
Given the lexicographic priority of equal liberties and opportunities, inequalities cannot be distributed unequally in a way that prevents a fully adequate schemes of equal basic liberties.
In this way, participants are assumed to be ignorant of particular facts but at the same time have knowledge of general facts. The two principles of justice depend on these assumptions, because without them participants choose these principles. The findings of these aims will be used, in the following two chapters, to explain why each theorist provides varied insights for contemporary cases. Cohen 79—84 identifies three ways in which Marx uses the term, though only two are relevant to the [CRQ].
Of these processes, one aspect which Cohen 80—3 recognises concerns the means of exploiting producers. Crucially, this exploitation expresses Marxian power Rummel, There are two crucial implications.
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Firstly, there can be no abstract reasoning if reason is historically conditioned. Secondly, as exploitation is a feature of social existence, so too does exploitation feature in reasoning. In this way, knowledge is a function of power.