Department of Economics Seminar Series 



"The Future of Work: The Relational Productive Justice View"




Sine Bağatur

(Leiden University)



Date: March 18, 2024 (Monday)

Time: 14:00


Synchronous Online Seminar

MS Teams Platform


MS Teams Link

Meeting ID: 244 952 449 041

Passcode: FdRUBU


The issue of justice in production, how the benefits and burdens are distributed in the realm of production, has traditionally been neglected in political philosophy until recently. The field of distributive justice mostly focused on the principles that should guide the distribution of goods, rights or capabilities and ignored how these goods are produced in the first place. In this paper, I claim that recently growing philosophical literature on production is dominated by two approaches. The first approach, the allocative view, is the approach that focuses on the issue of production in as much as it is related to distribution. In its most developed form in the form of Rawlsian egalitarianism, this view addresses the issue of justice in production by reference to the ideal of fair equality of opportunity. The second approach is the perfectionist view. This approach is grounded in the view that work is a good or a means for self-realisation. I argue that both approaches are limited in certain ways. The allocative approach relies on a mistaken separation of the 'economics' and 'politics' of social cooperation. The perfectionist approach is limited to the extent that they refer to not public reasons and hence not suitable for developing an account of justice. Drawing on the perspective of relational work in economic sociology and the critical theory of production, I propose a third approach: the relational productive justice view. This view overcomes the problems of the allocative and perfectionist views. Distinct from the allocative view, according to the relational productive justice view, egalitarian norms apply not only to the distribution of goods but also to the relations of production. Moreover, distinct from the perfectionist view, according to this view, there is no inherent value and meaning of work that can be revealed by philosophical postulation. Instead, the value and meaning of work is relational: it is established, transformed, and contested within interpersonal relations of production.

Last Updated:
18/03/2024 - 14:21