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Opportunity, responsibility and the market: interrogating liberal equality

Armstrong, Chris (2003) Opportunity, responsibility and the market: interrogating liberal equality Economy and Society, 32, (3), pp. 410-427. (doi:10.1080/03085140303131).

Record type: Article


This article scrutinizes the claim that liberal egalitarians are now the last real torchbearers for the principles of egalitarian reform. This claim might appear eccentric on the surface, but is increasingly common in leftist circles following the recent abandonment of such principles by formerly socialist parties. Programmes of 'social inclusion', for instance, are now widely criticized for substituting a desire to tackle economic inequalities with an incitement for us to become obedient, productive citizens. Focusing here on the claim that liberal egalitarians pose a radical alternative to this kind of discourse, I show that the real deficiencies of much liberal egalitarianism not only resemble but in many ways actually provide the sort of discourse within which parties like New Labour operate.

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Published date: 2003
Keywords: equality, liberalism, redistribution, egalitarianism, New Labour, social inclusion


Local EPrints ID: 34916
ISSN: 0308-5147
PURE UUID: 7dbfef50-cb69-47dc-b6c8-7838554590fb

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Date deposited: 15 May 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:49

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