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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Recent theorizing about justice for circumstances of injustice has largely bypassed disability. This chapter explores partial compliance theory through achieving disability civil rights. After sketching the non-ideal and partial compliance theory landscape since Rawls’s development of an ideal liberal theory of justice, the chapter disavows the misleading assumption that disability is non-ideal. Rather, injustice is located in social responses to differences in bodies and minds, as with the social model of disability. Using examples from the Americans with Disabilities Act, employment, and education, the chapter demonstrates how partial compliance theory can negotiate difficult questions about obligations when others behave unjustly and improvements seem infeasible. The chapter then explores disability civil rights without idealizations about justice. It concludes with thoughts about eugenics, why disability has largely been left aside in partial compliance theory, and how understanding disability civil rights can contribute importantly to our understanding of justice in non-ideal circumstances.

Keywords: injustice, partial compliance theory, non-ideal theory, civil rights, social model of disability, Americans with Disabilities Act, eugenics

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