Rawlsian Political Analysis: Rethinking the Microfoundations of Social Science
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In Rawlsian Political Analysis: Rethinking the Microfoundations of Social Science, Paul Clements develops a new, morally grounded model of political and social analysis as a critique of and improvement on both neoclassical economics and rational choice theory. What if practical reason is based not only on interests and ideas of the good, as these theories have it, but also on principles and sentiments of right? The answer, Clements argues, requires a radical reorientation of social science from the idea of interests to the idea of social justice.
other goods that enhance the welfare of the borrowers and their families. In neoclassical economic analyses, the borrower’s motivation to participate in the program is thought to be a function of her (and her husband’s) expected utility gains, such as in these areas. The logic of accounting for impacts in terms of autonomy and justice is complicated, because Kant’s idea of autonomy centers on acting in conformance to (freely generated principles of ) the moral law. A heteronomous action, by
person from neoclassical economics, however, and since 90 Rawlsian Political Analysis utilitarianism provided loose foundations for classical liberalism, for the purpose of making a few broad contrasts we can compare Rawls’s social ideal with that of University of Chicago economist and self-avowed classical liberal Milton Friedman. There are many similarities between Rawls’s property-owning democracy and Friedman’s free-market capitalism. Both theorists favor elections based on universal
to undermine their own caste status. The agendas of incumbents in subsequent governments tended to focus on their own narrow and short-term advantage rather than on encompassing, productive projects. Lacking statespeople promoting a unifying framework, politicians mined the civil service. As government failed to support agricultural improvements and as rural poverty increased, oppression rooted in the caste system increased as well. Dalits and other laborers, recognizing the oppression as a
problems that it has faced since independence still remain to be overcome. Thus, our analytic reform leads us naturally to a political reform agenda, and the first point on this agenda is that Bihar’s legacy of oppression must be halted. In order to establish a politics based on notions of common interest, backward- and forward-caste landowners must accept the equal humanity of their laborers. This is a long-term project; initially, in order to establish peace in the countryside, the democratic
By 2050, however, 2012’s world population of 7 billion will have risen to about 9.2 billion persons.52 At a first approximation, therefore, the agents would require all countries to move to three tonnes per capita annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.53 Following in the utilitarian tradition, neoclassical economists typically promote some idea of maximizing total utility. Hence, Stern adopts what he calls the “social welfare function” approach in which “the objective is to work out the