Claudio López-Guerra (Center for Research and Teaching in Economics):"Aligning Interests: Rulers, Subjects, and Equality"

Program in Ethics and Public Affairs (PEPA)

ABSTRACT: We have not done nearly as much as possible to give rulers strong incentives to do their job well—to fulfill the time-honored goal of creating a robust communion of interests between rulers and subjects. In this paper I make an instrumental case along these lines for a new model of political equality that I call "equal subjection."  The idea is that rulers should be on a footing of equality with members of the public as users of the basic goods and services that the state ought to provide. I defend two specific claims. The first is that aligning interests as robustly as possible (rather than, for instance, cultivating a moral motivation) is necessary to optimally induce rulers to act justly. The second is that equal subjection is necessary to thus align the interests of rulers and subjects. It follows that, for instrumental reasons, justice requires equal subjection.

Claudio López-Guerra teaches political philosophy at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE, Mexico City). His work focuses on issues of ethics and public policy. He is the author of "Democracy and Disenfranchisement: The Morality of Electoral Exclusions" (Oxford University Press, 2014). He has published articles in Philosophy and Public Affairs; The Journal of Political Philosophy; Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, among other journals.