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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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Equality, risk and responsibility: Dworkin on the insurance market

Equality, risk and responsibility: Dworkin on the insurance market

(p.55) 2 Equality, risk and responsibility: Dworkin on the insurance market
Rethinking Equality

Chris Armstrong

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on Ronald Dworkin's egalitarian theory and the resonances between liberal equality and the neoliberal conception of active citizenship. It looks at Dworkin's account of equality of resources, which is often taken as the point of departure for a hugely influential school of egalitarian thought, namely ‘luck egalitarianism’. The most significant element of the luck egalitarian literature is the foregrounding of notions of personal responsibility and individual choice, which according to its advocates not only give shape and force to egalitarian concerns, but also allow it to meet head-on the most significant opponent of equality — the ideology of the New Right. This chapter also scrutinises Dworkin's advocacy of a hypothetical insurance market, which closely parallels many of the shifts within welfare provision that have taken place since the rebirth of neoliberalism. Dworkin's achievement, at the level of political theory, has been precisely to incorporate liberal egalitarianism within a broadly neoliberal framework.

Keywords:   Ronald Dworkin, egalitarian theory, liberal equality, neoliberalism, active citizenship, luck egalitarianism, personal responsibility, individual choice, New Right, insurance market

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