A Social Connection Model
This chapter proposes an alternative conception of responsibility called the social connection model of responsibility. The social connection model finds that all those who contribute by their actions to structural processes with some unjust outcomes share responsibility for the injustice. This responsibility is not primarily backward-looking, as the attribution of guilt or fault is, but rather primarily forward-looking. Being responsible in relation to structural injustice means that one has an obligation to join with others who share that responsibility in order to transform the structural processes to make their outcomes less unjust. The chapter contrasts the social connection model of responsibility with the conception usually applied in legal and moral discourse, called the liability model. While some people might think the best strategy for theorizing responsibility for structural injustice is to extend and adapt the liability model, there are problems with this approach. There are good practical as well as theoretical reasons for saying that responsibility in relation to structural injustice is a special kind of responsibility, rather than a variation on responsibility understood as guilt, blame, fault, or liability.
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