Book News: May 1st, 2003

By Jonathan WolffRedistribution may be moving back up the political agenda – but what do we actually mean by redistribution? Even once we are agreed that an inequality ought to be rectified, there are many forms this can take. A hand-up or a hand-out? Welfare or work? Cash, vouchers, or services in kind? Society’s chosen instruments of redistribution can send a powerful message to their recipients – of appreciation or pity, condescension or respect. This paper explores the multiple dimensions and dilemmas of redistribution by leading political philosopher Jonathan Wolff. It is illustrated with examples ranging from the treatment of disability to welfare-to-work policies. Wolff argues that our preferred forms of redistribution reflect fundamental intuitions about “the nature of the human good” – and offers an original and lucid philosophical framework for thinking these connections through.

Published by Catalyst Price 5 pounds.