Scales of Justice: Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World (New Directions in Critical Theory)
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Until recently, struggles for justice proceeded against the background of a taken-for-granted frame: the bounded territorial state. With that "Westphalian" picture of political space assumed by default, the scope of justice was rarely subject to open dispute. Today, however, human-rights activists and international feminists join critics of structural adjustment and the World Trade Organization in challenging the view that justice can only be a domestic relation among fellow citizens. Targeting injustices that cut across borders, they are making the scale of justice an object of explicit struggle.
Inspired by these efforts, Nancy Fraser asks: What is the proper frame for theorizing justice? Faced with a plurality of competing scales, how do we know which one is truly just? In exploring these questions, Fraser revises her widely discussed theory of redistribution and recognition. She introduces a third, "political" dimension of justice& mdash;representation& mdash;and elaborates a new, reflexive type of critical theory that foregrounds injustices of "misframing." Engaging with thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt, she envisions a "postwestphalian" mapping of political space that accommodates transnational solidarity, transborder publicity, and democratic frame-setting, as well as emancipatory projects that cross borders. The result is a sustained reflection on who should count with respect to what in a globalizing world.
Revising her widely discussed theory of redistribution and recognition, Nancy Fraser introduces a “political” dimension of justice—representation—and elaborates a new, reflexive type of critical theory that foregrounds injustices of “misframing.” Engaging with thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt, she envisions a “postwestphalian” mapping of political space that accommodates transnational solidarity, transborder publicity, and democratic framesetting,
this moment of destabilization, political struggles increasingly trespass the Westphalian frame. Humanrights activists and international feminists join critics of Two Dogmas of Egalitarianism 31 structural adjustment and the World Trade Organization in targeting injustices that cut across borders. Effectively exploding the territorial imaginary, these movements are seeking to re-map the bounds of justice on a broader scale. Challenging the view that justice can only be a domestic relation
Insofar as philosophers simply assume this view, they fail to subject the procedural question to critical reflection. They fail to ask, in a methodologically self-reflective way: How should one determine the pertinent frame for reflecting on social justice in a globalizing world? What criterion or decision procedure should one invoke? And who in the end is the “one” who should decide? In general, political philosophers have so far failed to reflect systematically on such questions. This is the
symbolic, with a discredited communism. Related processes, too, occurred in the so-called “Third World.” On the one hand, the end of bipolar competition between the Soviets and the West reduced flows of aid to the periphery. On the other hand, the US-led dismantling of the Bretton Woods financial regime encouraged the new neoliberal 108 Mapping the Feminist Imagination policy of structural adjustment, which threatened the postcolonial developmental state. The result was to greatly reduce the
entwinement and reciprocal influence. Just as the ability to make claims for distribution and recognition depends on relations of representation, so the ability to exercise one’s political voice depends on the relations of class and status. In other words, the capacity to influence public debate and authoritative decision-making depends not only on formal decision rules, but also on power relations rooted in the economic structure and the status order, a fact that is insufficiently stressed in