Sunday, May 21, 2023

New book: Free and Equal

Free and Equal

What Would a Fair Society Look Like?

by Daniel Chandler

(Penguin/Allen Lane, 2023)

416 pages


Imagine: you are designing a society, but you don't know who you'll be within it - rich or poor, man or woman, gay or straight. What would you want that society to look like? This is the revolutionary thought experiment proposed by the twentieth century's greatest political philosopher, John Rawls. As economist and philosopher Daniel Chandler argues in this hugely ambitious and exhilarating intervention, it is by rediscovering Rawls that we can find a way out of the escalating crises that are devastating our world today.

Taking Rawls's humane and egalitarian liberalism as his starting point, Chandler builds a careful and ultimately irresistible case for a progressive agenda that would fundamentally reshape our societies for the better. He shows how we can protect free speech and transcend the culture wars; get money out of politics; and create an economy where everyone has the chance to fulfil their potential, where prosperity is widely shared, and which operates within the limits of our finite planet. This is a book brimming with hope and possibility - a galvanising alternative to the cynicism that pervades our politics. 

Contents [Preview]


1. What's Fair

2. A New Social Contract

3. Rawls and His Critics

4. Freedom

5. Democracy

6. Equality of Opportunity

7. Shared Prosperity

8. Workplace Democracy


Daniel Chandler is an economist and philosopher based at the London School of Economics. An interview with Daniel Chandler at Literary Hub (May 2023). 


* Jonathan Wolff (Times Literary Supplement)

* Alan Ryan (Literary Review)

* Stuart Jeffries (The Guardian)

* Jonathan Derbyshire (Financial Times)

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