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Luka Petrović: Two-dimensional conception of justice

24 December 2020. 12:00 - 14:00

Nancy Fraser’s two-dimensional conception of justice is an attempt to incorporate two different politics - redistributive politics and the politics of recognition - into a single approach. Redistributive politics appear in response to economic injustices and the most important social institutions should be set fairly, so as not to allow coincidences and circumstances to decisively determine the social and economic position of people. Things that do not depend on people themselves should not govern their life circumstances, nor do they represent legitimate justifications for inequalities.
The politics of recognition locate the causes of injustice in the non-recognition of the way of life of minority communities and in the liberal “neutral” state that actually promotes the way of life of the majority community. According to such positions, the bourgeois revolutions universalized the norms of the only social group that emancipated itself during the civil revolutions - middle class white men. Under the guise of neutrality, objectivity and impartiality, various types of oppression are

perpetrated, especially against women, members of national minorities and the LGBT community. These are teleological theories and here we enter into ethical evaluations of a specific way of life and on that basis we judge whether it would be justified to publicly recognize them.
I argue that the politics of recognition have undergone significant changes by incorporating into a two-dimensional conception of justice. The deontological and universalist positions of redistributive politics have been extended to institutional injustices that are part of the cultural sphere, whereby politics of recognition have lost their original meaning. Unlike the psychological states to which the politics of recognition are directed, the subject of the two-dimensional conception of justice is social and state institutions. In it’s essence lies the norm of participatory parity, the idea that every member of society or a social group should be equal and able to participate on an equal basis in political and social life.

Luka Petrović is a PhD student of political science at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade. He completed his undergraduate studies at the same faculty, where he was the best student in the cohort. He completed his master’s degree in political science in the Democracy and Democratization program, defending his master thesis on „Two Dimensions of Justice: The Relationship between Redistributive Politics and the Politics of Recognition“.
His research interests focus on contemporary political theory, especially the theory of justice, the politics of recognition and redistribution, as well as contemporary theories of democracy.


24 December 2020.
12:00 - 14:00