Thinking about Justice and Democracy Together
Justice and democracy are considered two fundamental concepts in liberal political theory and this essay is no exeption to such a tradition of thought. Unlike most works in the field, however, the focus of this paper will not be on justice or democracy separately, but rather on the relationship between them. How should democracy be understood in relation to justice? Should it be conceived as one of its requirements and thus as instrinsic to its idea? Or should it be thought of as an instrument to bring about just arrangements? While these questions are not new to contemporary political theorists, they often remain unexplored. Such a neglect seems particularly evident when it comes to the literature on global justice and global democracy. Here, the two concepts are treated either separately or in such a way that oversimplifies their relation. By providing an overview of the main positions in the global justice/democracy debate, I will try to show: 1) that the questions around which such debates are structured tend to polarise the ideas of justice and democracy; 2) that an appreciation of their relationship would give rise to a new set of questions and, most probably, to a more unified framework for assessing them.