Difference without DominationPursuing Justice in Diverse Democracies

Difference without DominationPursuing Justice in Diverse Democracies

Danielle Allen and Rohini Somanathan

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780226681191

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This book seeks to understand the relations among social diversity, justice, and democracy and to clarify how social diversity should inform our thinking about both justice and democracy. Among kinds of social diversity discussed in this volume, race has special prominence. Contemporary political philosophy has populated the landscape of scholarship with a handful of alternative conceptions of justice. This volume launches from an embrace of an ideal of justice that rests on the principle of nondomination. The ideal of nondomination is also closely linked to a concept of dignity. These ideals—nondomination and dignity—provide the normative foundation for this volume’s work. The book then links a normative framework to the empirical and quantitative analyses of positive social science—exploring stereotypes, implicit bias, the limitations of representation understood via statistical mirroring, and affirmative action policies. The chapters deliver key conceptual shifts—in the ideas of justice, statistical mirroring, identity, and the meaning of social groups—that amount to a paradigm change for thinking about the relations among diversity, justice, and democracy.

Table of Contents

Front Matter


Danielle Allen and Rohini Somanathan

Part 1 Difference without Domination

1 A New Theory of Justice

Danielle Allen

Part 2 Relations before Transactions: New Approaches to Inequality, Justice, & Dignity

Part 3 The Limits of Mirroring: New Approaches to Representation, Measurement, & Membership

7 Overrepresentation

Ellen D. Wu

8 Second-Order Diversity

Heather K. Gerken


Danielle Allen and Rohini Somanathan

End Matter