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Do Victims of Injustice Have a Fairness-Based Duty to Resist?

Do Victims of Injustice Have a Fairness-Based Duty to Resist? In her recent book A Duty to Resist (2018), Candice Delmas contends that both beneficiaries and victims of injustices have a duty to resist unjust laws and to try to change them, and proposes several ways of grounding this duty. One of these proposed groundings appeals to considerations of fairness. Delmas holds that anyone who refuses to participate in resisting some injustice, including victims of that injustice, can be accused of free-riding and thus of unfair conduct that violates the duty of fair play, which means that they have a fairness-based duty to resist. In this paper, I critique this attempt to ascribe a duty to resist grounded in considerations of fairness specifically to victims of injustice. Against Delmas, I argue that victims of injustice do not have this fairness-based duty to resist because, unlike the beneficiaries of an injustice, they cannot be considered free-riders when they do not participate in resistance to the injustice. I then discuss additional problematic implications of Delmas’s view, focusing on the issue of victim-blaming, and show how these problems can be avoided. In this way, I hope to contribute to the urgent project of determining who has a duty to resist injustice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Res Publica Springer Journals

Do Victims of Injustice Have a Fairness-Based Duty to Resist?

Res Publica , Volume OnlineFirst – Nov 25, 2021

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2021
ISSN
1356-4765
eISSN
1572-8692
DOI
10.1007/s11158-021-09539-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In her recent book A Duty to Resist (2018), Candice Delmas contends that both beneficiaries and victims of injustices have a duty to resist unjust laws and to try to change them, and proposes several ways of grounding this duty. One of these proposed groundings appeals to considerations of fairness. Delmas holds that anyone who refuses to participate in resisting some injustice, including victims of that injustice, can be accused of free-riding and thus of unfair conduct that violates the duty of fair play, which means that they have a fairness-based duty to resist. In this paper, I critique this attempt to ascribe a duty to resist grounded in considerations of fairness specifically to victims of injustice. Against Delmas, I argue that victims of injustice do not have this fairness-based duty to resist because, unlike the beneficiaries of an injustice, they cannot be considered free-riders when they do not participate in resistance to the injustice. I then discuss additional problematic implications of Delmas’s view, focusing on the issue of victim-blaming, and show how these problems can be avoided. In this way, I hope to contribute to the urgent project of determining who has a duty to resist injustice.

Journal

Res PublicaSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 25, 2021

Keywords: Civil disobedience; Injustice; Resistance; Political obligation; Fairness

References