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Secularism, Democracy, Justice
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Secularism, Democracy, Justice
Implications of Rawlsian Principles in India


January 1998 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
For the major part of the 20th century, the concepts of individual liberty and social justice have been viewed as being mutually exclusive. However, John RawlsÆ Theory of Justice (1971) radically altered this perspective by providing the most elaborate example of the coexistence of liberty and egalitarian principles. The first principle of his theory refers to liberty while the second principle (pertaining to social justice) consists of fair equality of opportunity and the difference principle. Secularism, Democracy, Justice undertakes the difficult, yet challenging, task of applying these Rawlsian principles to four major areasùsecularism, democracy, social justice, and agencyùin Indian context. Relying largely on the Kantian notions of rationality and universality, Nalini Rajan combines a philosophical analysis of the Rawlsian framework with a defense of certain kinds of state policies. Within these four major areas, she discusses secularism and the rationale for a uniform civil code; the necessity for greater democratic participation as well as its limits; the importance of positive discrimination to combat social backwardness; and the role of self and of universality in realizing human agency. While the issues raised are riddled with practical and theoretical difficulties, this book effectively seeks answers to some of the major problems plaguing fragile institutions like secularism, democracy, and social justice.
 
Introduction
 
PART ONE: SECULARISM
 
Gandhi and Postmodernism
 
The Principles of Autonomy
 
Is There a Case for a Uniform Civil Code?
 
PART TWO: DEMOCRACY
 
Role of the State
 
Limits to Democracy
 
PART THREE: SOCIAL JUSTICE
 
Beyond Welfarism
 
Justice as Impartiality
 
PART FOUR: AGENCY
 
Dealing with Pluralism
 
Conclusion

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ISBN: 9780761992141
$73.00