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The Shadow of UnfairnessA Plebeian Theory of Liberal Democracy$
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Jeffrey Green

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190215903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190215903.001.0001

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The Shadow of Unfairness and the Logic of Plebeianism

The Shadow of Unfairness and the Logic of Plebeianism

(p.1) 1 The Shadow of Unfairness and the Logic of Plebeianism
The Shadow of Unfairness

Jeffrey Edward Green

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the book’s main ideas: that a shadow of unfairness will darken any conceivable liberal-democratic regime, that this circumstance has not been recognized by contemporary political thinkers, and that a plebeian conception of liberal democracy is well-suited to acknowledge and progressively respond to the shadow of unfairness. After detailing the principal elements of plebeianism whose elaboration and defense will be the purpose of the succeeding chapters, the rest of the chapter further clarifies the meaning of a plebeian theory of democracy by illuminating four of its overarching features: its commitment to developing, not abandoning, the liberal-democratic regime; its reliance on the plebeians of ancient Rome as an instructive analogue for ordinary, second-class citizens today; the sense in which it might be considered a contribution to democratic realism; and its incorporation of Green’s earlier work in democratic theory, The Eyes of the People.

Keywords:   plebeianism, democracy, unfairness, citizenship, ancient Rome, democratic realism, analogy, justice

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