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date: 20 July 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines the ideas and influence of Michael Walzer’s Spheres of Justice. It argues that Walzer’s influence on the discipline has taken a different form than many other writers on justice, such as Rawls, where the central ideas have been taken up and argued about in essentially Rawlsian terms. Walzer’s influence has operated on different levels, of which we can distinguish at least three. There is a micro level, with numerous authors picking up fruitful ideas, lines of inquiries or suggestions, found in Walzer’s work, and appropriating them or using them to pursue further arguments. There is a more general social justice level, where ideas that are central to his understanding of social justice have been appropriated by diverse thinkers, often in quite different ways. He has been also influential on a very general, methodological level, where theorists have adopted his method and style of doing political theory.

Keywords: Justice, relational equality, relativism, membership, markets and justice, contextualism

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