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Social choice problems with public reason proceduralism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 February 2021

Henrik D. Kugelberg
Affiliation:
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UQ, UK Email: henrik.kugelberg@politics.ox.ac.uk
Corresponding

Abstract

Most political liberals argue that only rules, policies and institutions that are part of society’s basic structure need to be justified with so-called public reasons. Laws enacted outside this set are legitimate if and when public reasons can justify the procedure that selects them. I argue that this view is susceptible to known problems from social choice theory. However, there are resources within political liberalism that could address them. If the scope of public reason is extended beyond the basic structure it could order people’s preferences in a way that circumvents the identified issues.

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© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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