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Towards a European THeory Of juStice and fairness

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ETHOS (Towards a European THeory Of juStice and fairness)

Período documentado: 2018-01-01 hasta 2019-12-31

ETHOS seeks to provide building blocks for the development of the an empirically informed European theory of justice by (a) refining and deepening the knowledge on the European foundations of justice - both historically based and contemporary envisaged; (b) enhancing the awareness of the mechanism that impede the realization of the justice ideals that live in contemporary Europe; (c) advancing the understanding of the process of drawing and re-drawing of the boundaries of justice (fault lines); and (d) providing guidance to politicians, policy makers, advocacies and other stakeholders on how to design and implement policies to reserve inequalities and prevent injustice.

ETHOS concludes that Europe’s justice principles rest on redistributive, recognitive and representative justice principles that are intertwined. These principles are challenged by prioritizing economic over social rights, debates on minority rights, maldistribution of public goods and misrepresentation of vulnerable people. Also, these principles are not accepted at all governance levels, nor in all institutions. Awareness of the mechanism that impede the realization of the justice ideals are present in entities (and their properties) and activities. Processes of drawing and re-drawing of national and categorical boundaries of justice are elaborated. Guidance is provided via meetings, policy briefs and workshops to stakeholders on how to design and implement policies to reserve inequalities and prevent injustice.
ETHOS developed its philosophical, integrative and interdisciplinary theoretical foundations, conducted empirical studies and reported the findings. Three ETHOS conferences have been held. All deliverables have been internally reviewed. Sixty deliverables were submitted to the European Commission. Dissemination activities took mainly place via the ETHOS website, social media and in person activities such as conferences and workshops.
Management responsibilities were in place with strong communication links. The management structure has been set up and formalized through the Consortium Agreement. A Quality Assurance Plan and a Data Management Plan have been adopted throughout the consortium.
All Deliverables have been submitted on time: Reports on European heritage of philosophical theorizing about justice and on philosophical workshops about the normative assumptions of non-ideal theory and reflective equilibrium methodological approach of ETHOS.
Key findings
ETHOS’ ‘real world political philosophy’ of justice starts from manifest injustices. It is ‘partial’ and focuses on identifiable injustices. This approach was central in ETHOS’ development of an empirically founded theory for understanding, evaluating and recommending responses to European injustices.
All Deliverables have been submitted on time: the theoretical review of the conceptualization and articulation of justice in legal theory and reports on the conceptions of justice in the European construction and on the right to vote, housing and education.
Key findings
Key human rights are protected at the European level but implementation is hindered by mechanisms in the relationship between governmental levels, the idea of universalism and cultural relativism in law and the position held by the notion of the rule of law and procedural justice.
All Deliverables are submitted, some with permitted delay: A theoretical review of the conceptualization of justice in political theory, and deliverables on justice in political and media discourses regarding minority rights in education and historical commemoration.
Key findings
Racial, ethnic and religious minority groups are more likely to be classified as the ‘other’ and thus excluded from the systems of reciprocity and representation. Underlying theoretical problems are majority/minority definitions of “the common good”, “recognition of difference” and “intersectionality”.
All deliverables have been submitted, some with permitted delay. A theoretical overview of justice in social theory, and deliverables on ideals of justice and fairness from the perspective of Roma, elderly and/or disabled persons, and welfare recipients.
Key findings:
Minority groups’ experiences with justice and fairness are defined by concepts such as a contested mobile identity, deservingness and dependency versus independency. Policy practices are not adjusted to qualified representation of vulnerable groups, which hampers their participatory parity
All deliverable 6.1 have been submitted on time: A review of justice in economic theory, and deliverables on distributive justice claims by marginalized groups in society, on social rights, social dialogue and Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR).
Key findings:
Marginalized groups react with fear as well as protest to distributive injustice. European Charters, social dialogue and ADR have limited influence due to the dominance of market principles at the EU level as well as in nation states.
All Deliverables have been submitted in time: the methodological framework for the ETHOS project and three integrative papers on interplay and tensions between justice principles, processes of boundary drawing and mechanisms that impede justice.
Key Findings
A European theory of justice and fairness only can exist in a nuanced framework of redistributive, recognitive and representative justice that accounts for the plurality of European values under the condition that injustices are combatted: boundary drawing based on nationalism and intersectional categorization; mechanisms that impede injustices ( (entities and activities) in the implementation of European values.
All deliverables have been submitted in time: the ETHOS website, a Facebook page, an ETHOS blog, the Landscapes of Justice, a Justice hall of fame, policy briefs and newsletters.
All ethical requirements were met, and all the deliverables were submitted on time.
There is an urgent need for a European theory on justice and fairness in science and policy. In mainstream academic theorizing the concept of justice is almost absent, formulated at a too high level of abstraction or overruled and marginalized by sociological and economical rationalization. ETHOS brought and will bring back a debate on justice in academic disciplines.
The EU can do more in safeguarding its justice principles at various governance levels. ETHOS researchers have connected to policy makers who mostly affirm the principles but resist to applying these for reasons of economic efficiency, national budgets, majority (tax payers’) objections, the state independency and family dependency ideal, or legal regulations. Vulnerable populations experiencing injustice feel less able to claim justice, adapt their preferences or protest in ways that only slowly are changing the justice discourse and practice.