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Rethinking EqualityThe Challenge of Equal Citizenship$
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Chris Armstrong

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719069246

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719069246.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Rethinking Equality

Chris Armstrong

Manchester University Press

Discourses of equality have come under sustained assault from at least two directions. On the one hand, the ideal of equality has been challenged from the political ‘right’, particularly as a result of a resurgent neoliberalism which from the 1970s mounted a serious attack on the limited equalities achieved within many contemporary welfare states. On the other hand, the ideal seems to have been steadily supplanted within what we might call the ‘radical imaginary’ by rival ideals such as inclusion, justice, the politics of difference or the politics of diversity, radical democracy, recognition or redistribution. This book explores the relationship between the concepts of equality and citizenship in contemporary egalitarian theory. It proposes an approach to equality that seeks to employ citizenship as an organising principle for egalitarian politics. Historically, citizenship has also functioned as a category of exclusion, hierarchy, and privilege. This book also discusses egalitarianism, culture and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality.

Keywords:   equality, egalitarian theory, citizenship, egalitarian politics, hierarchy, egalitarianism, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexuality

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