Contemporary political debates on the Left about equality tend to emphasize either equality of opportunity or equality of outcome. Neoliberals focus on market-based interventions that can increase individual upward mobility while Social Democrats call for state-based interventions that result in equitable distribution of resources. In this article, I challenge both of these conceptions, arguing that an overreliance on both the free market and the administrative state can undermine individual agency and exclude everyday citizens from political deliberation and decision-making. I argue that a better aspirational model is equality of participation in political deliberations and processes. Drawing on Christopher Lasch, Hannah Arendt, and John Rawls, I seek to champion a participatory democracy that involves a broader “public” in the work of public policy. The end goals of this equality of participation model include: lessening regional inequality, offsetting the harms of meritocracy, empowering citizens, and strengthening local communities.
Barr, Anthony M.
"Restoring The Public In Public Policy: Lessons from Lasch, Arendt, and Rawls,"
Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 13
, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol13/iss1/1