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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Discussions of the relationship between justice and democracy are generally premised on the assumption that they are two different things, only contingently and externally related. As a result, genuine conflicts seem possible whereby we are forced to decide whether democracy should trump justice or whether justice has priority over democracy. By focusing on the work of Jürgen Habermas and Rainer Forst, this chapter aims to show that deliberative democracy can provide a constructivist conception of justice which challenges this premise by explaining the internal relationship between justice and democracy. There is no justice without democracy in the sense that only citizens can democratically determine the specific content of justice. At the same time, there is also no democracy without justice in the sense that democratic outcomes are legitimate only to the extent that they can be understood as proper elaborations of the substantive but abstract ideal of justice-as-impartiality.

Keywords: justice, deliberative democracy, constructivism, Rainer Forst, Jürgen Habermas

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