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Justice, Care, and the Welfare State$
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Daniel Engster

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719564.001.0001

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Justice, Care, and the Poor

Justice, Care, and the Poor

(p.200) 6 Justice, Care, and the Poor
Justice, Care, and the Welfare State

Daniel Engster

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses welfare policy for the poor and economically disadvantaged. Although contemporary political philosophers have outlined many proposals for achieving justice for the poor, most theories remain ideal in one important respect: they pay little attention to the real-world nature of poverty. This chapter develops a non-ideal theory of justice for the poor based on a public ethics of care. Most poverty in contemporary Western societies is associated with dependency and caregiving. Care ethics thus provides a useful framework for addressing it. The most important policies that states can support in order to mitigate poverty and economic disadvantage are those that support caregivers, children, the sick, elderly, and disabled. This chapter criticizes approaches to economic justice based on libertarianism, a universal basic income, universal stakeholder grants, property-owning democracy, and liberal or market socialism, and identifies a variety of income- and employment-related policies for addressing economic disadvantaged and poverty

Keywords:   care ethics, justice, welfare state, poverty, economic disadvantage, property-owning democracy, market socialism, universal basic income, stakeholder grants

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