domingo, 9 de outubro de 2005

Livros [8]

Why Social Justice Matters

de BRIAN BARRY, Professor da Columbia University e Emeritus Professor of Political Science na London School of Economics. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Em tempos de reforma social em Portugal e de recalibragem do modelo social europeu, um livro a ler para confrontar os argumentos do autor com os discursos dominantes.

Part I – Social Justice: The basics: (1) Why we Need a Theory; (2) The Machinery of Social Justice; (3) The Scope of Social Justice. Part II – Equality of Opportunity: (4) Why Equal Opportunity? (5) Education; (6) Health; (7) The making of the Black Gulag. Part III – What’s Wrong with Meritocracy: (8) The Idea of Meritocracy; (9) The Abuse of Science. Part IV – The Cult of Personal Responsibility: (10) Responsibility versus Equality? (11) Rights and responsibilities; (12) Irresponsible Societies. Part V – The Demands of Social Justice: (13) Pathologies of Inequality; (14) Wealth; (15) Jobs and Incomes; (16) Can We Afford Social Justice? Part VI – The future of Social Justice: (17) The Power of Ideas; (18) How Change Happens; (19) Meltdown? (20) Justice or Bust

“While social injustice has been increasing, the idea of social justice has been undermined by unfounded appeals to "personal responsibility" and "equal opportunity." These have been employed as an excuse for doing nothing about the enrichment of the few at the expense of the many and for making ever harsher demands on the poor and vulnerable. […] Barry argues that only if inequalities of wealth and income are kept within a narrow range can equal prospects for education, health and autonomy be realized. He proposes a number of policies to achieve a more equal society and argues that they are economically feasible. But are they politically possible? The apparent stability of the status quo is delusory, he responds: radical changes in our way of life are unavoidable. Whether these changes are for better or for worse depends partly on the availability of a coherent set of principles and a programme flowing from them that is capable of mobilizing the growing discontent with business as usual'. That is, ultimately, why social justice matters.” [da apresentação do editor]