Equality, Risk and Responsibility: Dworkin on the Insurance Market.
Economy and Society, 34, (3), . (doi:10.1080/03085140500111915).
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The concept of risk occupies centre-stage in debates about individual and social responsibilities and, within a broadly neo-liberal regime, the paradigmatic form of risk management is insurance. Nevertheless analysis of these recent shifts in welfare politics appears curiously disconnected from dominant trends of normative political theorizing. The rise of ‘insurance as government’ and ‘risk management as responsibility and opportunity’ has not obviously been addressed even by prominent liberal political theorists. Similarly the analysts of neo-liberalism have devoted little attention to tracing these concepts through the literature on political theory. This article seeks to remedy this disconnection, by showing how Ronald Dworkin – perhaps the foremost liberal theorist writing today – offers us an account of equality which foregrounds the apparatus of insurance, and represents the management of risk within the welfare system as both an opportunity and a responsibility. Furthermore, his account inherits many of the ambiguities and weaknesses of neo-liberal theory and redeploys them within the political theory of equality.
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