This timely and provocative book challenges the conventional wisdom that neoliberal capitalism is incompatible with social justice. Employing public choice and market process theory, Nick Cowen systematically compares and contrasts capitalism with socialist alternatives, illustrating how proponents of social justice have decisive reasons to opt for a capitalism guided by neoliberal ideas.
Cowen shows how general rules of property and voluntary exchange facilitate widespread cooperation. Revisiting the works of John Rawls, he offers an interdisciplinary reconciliation of Rawlsian principles with liberal democracy by introducing 'robust property-owning democracy', a new form of governance that aims to achieve social justice via practical, liberal means. Chapters address the knowledge problem and the incentive problem that emerge when aiming for a fair distribution of social resources and demonstrate how everyday political bargaining can help achieve just outcomes for all.
Utilising insights from philosophy, politics and economics to show the role of market institutions and constitutional government in producing social justice, this book is crucial reading for academics, researchers and students of PPE and the political sciences. Its practical policy proposals will further benefit policymakers interested in mechanisms that spread the benefits of economic growth equitably.