Perpetuation as perpetration: Wrongful benefit and responsibility for historical injustice

Contemporary Political Theory 21 (4):545-566 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Do those of us living in the present have an obligation to rectify injustices committed by others in the distant past? This article is an attempt to revisit the problem of historical injustice by bringing together recent work on structural injustice in relation to the problem of wrongful benefit. The problem of benefitting from injustice, I argue, provides firmer grounds of obligation in forward-looking accounts of responsibility for historical injustice specifically. I argue (1) that if the negative effects of historical injustice endure into the present, and (2) if we participate in structures that allow for its reproduction, then (3) our moral responsibility to set matters straight increases to the extent that we derive a benefit from the perpetuation of an unjust _status quo_. Finally, (4) a general moral obligation to make the world less unjust generates a motive for individuals to learn more about their place in a structure that reproduces the negative effects of historical injustice.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,347

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Backward-looking reparations and structural injustice.Maeve McKeown - 2021 - Contemporary Political Theory 20 (4):771-794.
Indirect Co-Perpetration.Shachar Eldar - 2014 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (3):605-617.
From Historical to Enduring Injustice.Jeff Spinner-Halev - 2007 - Political Theory 35 (5):574-597.
Nations, Overlapping Generations and Historic Injustice.Daniel Butt - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (4):357-367.
Making Sense of Discrimination.Re'em Segev - 2014 - Ratio Juris 27 (1):47-78.
Responsibility for past injustice: How to shift the burden.Chandran Kukathas - 2003 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (2):165-190.
Ontic Injustice.Katharine Jenkins - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):188-205.
Historical Injustice.Duncan Ivison - 2009 - In John S. Dryzek, Bonnie Honig & Anne Phillips (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory. Oxford University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-10-04

Downloads
26 (#614,906)

6 months
11 (#246,433)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50:115 - 151.
Responsibility and global justice: A social connection model.Iris Marion Young - 2006 - Social Philosophy and Policy 23 (1):102-130.
National responsibility and global justice.David Miller - 2008 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (4):383-399.

View all 37 references / Add more references