Rowman and Littlefield International

Justice in a Non-Ideal World

Bridging the Gap Between Political Theory and Real-World Politics

By Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh

2 Reviews

The realisation of justice in the real world requires moral principles and political action. This book offers a roadmap for these two notions to connect.

Ebook ISBN: 9781786608772 Release date: Apr 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $38.99
Hardback ISBN: 9781786608765 Release date: Apr 2019
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00

Series: Studies in Social and Global Justice

Pages: 236


The realisation of justice in the real world requires political theory and political action. This book offers a road map for these two notions to connect. It explains how action-guiding principles are formulated by seeking cross-disciplinary input. Also, it casts light on the concepts that occupy the space between political theory and real-world politics, which are often used as reasons to obstruct the progression of social justice, e.g. feasibility, fact-sensitivity, compliance and path-dependence. This book argues for a re-appropriation of these concepts in the name of justice. Many examples will be provided. In particular, the book focuses on the case of climate change. It offers two case studies on the realisation of climate justice.

Introduction / Part I / 1. On the Roles and Limits of Ideal Theory / 2. Overcoming the ‘Paradox’ of Ideal Theory / 3. Action-Guidance in a Non-Ideal World /4. Transitional Theory: Connecting Ideals with Political Action / Part II / 5. Tax Competition / 6. Climate Justice / 7. Carbon Pricing / Conclusion

Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at McGill University. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and a Lecturer at the Department of Political Sciences at Yale University.

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2 Reviews

What is our ideal of justice? What can we do to make the world a better place here and now? Bridging these questions, this insightful study presents a conceptual framework for formulating action-guiding principles. Case studies from climate change and international taxation provide refreshing illustrations of how to use abstract values as inspiration while showing sensitivity to empirical facts.

Peter Dietsch, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Montreal

Can political philosophy enable progress on urgent global issues such as climate change? In this book, Sayegh both argues that it can and shows us how to do it by articulating a vision of political philosophy as ‘action guiding’. Deploying this philosophical method in analysis of tax competition, climate justice and carbon pricing, Sayegh brings fresh and significant insights. This book shows the power of philosophy when it is correctly married to empirical knowledge.

Catriona McKinnon, Centre for Climate and Justice, University of Reading

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