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Unpublished Paper
Equality and Democracy
ExpressO (2014)
  • Steven L Winter

Brown is the most celebrated case in 20th Century Constitutional Law but its egalitarian vision is under attack. This article examines the meaning of equality and its constitutive relation to democracy. It contrasts Robert Post’s and Peter Westen’s arguments critical equality with Charles Sumner’s arguments in Roberts v. City of Boston (1849) and the original, Athenian understanding of democracy on which it is based. It then considers the social and power dynamics of gender before, during, and after the January 25th uprising in Tahrir Square in Egypt. The critical lesson it draws from Roberts and Tahrir is that democracy is not possible without the constitution of “persons” and of “fellow citizens” that arises from relations of recognition in the public sphere that only emerge under conditions of equality.

  • equality,
  • democratic theory,
  • public education
Publication Date
August 22, 2014
Citation Information
Steven L Winter. "Equality and Democracy" ExpressO (2014)
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