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A Question for Sen about Democracy and Justice
Philip Pettit
How do democracy and justice—if you like, democratic justice and socio-economic justice— compare with each other in importance? By Sen’s lights, and my own, they are sufficiently on a par for either to outweigh the other in a comparison of regimes. But does this mean that in the theory of justice, we ought to be ready to recommend non-democratic arrangements under certain circumstances? I argue that it does not, on the pragmatic grounds that theorizing about justice involves presuppositions that a non-democratic recommendation would confound. I present considerations in favour of this view and point to some reasons as to why Sen may be inclined to endorse it. The question is whether or not he would do so.

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