25. Democratic Justice: Applications

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Moral Foundations of Politics (PLSC 118)

Professor Shapiro guides the class through some practical applications of his theory of democratic justice. As applied to governing children, a sphere in which power-based hierarchy is inevitable, he circumscribes the role of the state as the fiduciary over children's basic interests and the role of parents as the fiduciaries over children's best interests. In other words, the state ensures the provision of the resources necessary for survival while the parents provide the resources to enable children to thrive as well as possible. Although some tensions will develop, such dual hierarchies enable a system of checks on these power relationships. And these hierarchies are self-liquidating once the child reaches adulthood, and because of self-determination, the child can no longer be disenfranchised. Professor Shapiro also examines hierarchy in the workplace. If exit costs are high, what he calls a Dickensian nightmare, then increased regulation is justified, but if we are living in a surfer's paradise, with low exit costs and a high social wage, then the firm's pursuit of efficiency should not be impeded. How regulation is applied depends on where the society falls on this continuum. In closing, Professor Shapiro offers his remarks about the staying power and legacy of democracy.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction: Democratic Justice and Last Class Recap
03:42 - Chapter 2. Democratic Justice at Home: Governing Children
30:03 - Chapter 3. Democratic Justice at Work: Sliding Quantum Rule
46:12 - Chapter 4. Tocqueville on Democracy

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2010.