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Justice and Mulit-Party Politics

by COGLEY, CHARLES ZACHARY

Abstract (Summary)
In the thesis entitled "Justice and Multi-Party Politics" I argue that minor-party candidates in the United States cannot fairly compete in elections with major-party candidates. In an attempt to understand their situation I turn to the theory of justice advanced by John Rawls. But Rawls’s approach runs into difficulties when suggesting ways in which we might improve the situation for minor-party candidates. I therefore suggest that we also utilize the concept of the public sphere, as elucidated by Jürgen Habermas, to see our way clear of the difficulties. But Habermas, while providing a better account of the problem, still fails to give a satisfactory proposal for improving the situation. I therefore enlist the theoretical insights of Nancy Fraser and Iris Young, who suggest that the public sphere will operate most fairly when it is actually made up of multiple heterogeneous publics. Political parties are examples of publics, so I consider whether adopting reforms that would encourage a multi-party system would result in a more just political process. Additional parties might help some groups, especially those that have historically lacked political voice, a greater role in government. But additional parties could also serve to fragment social movements or even to allocate additional resources to hate groups. After considering some of the problems that a multi-party American political system might face, I argue that the potential benefits of such a system outweigh the risks if certain reforms are adopted and party building begins at the local level and builds upward.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:rawls fraser young habermas justice public sphere multi party politics third

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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