A controversial analysis of the relationship between equality and pluralism. Tackling an issue central to modern political thought, Ellen Freeberg highlights the struggle to characterize citizens as equals while respecting their moral, religious and cultural diversity. The work contrasts and critiques the prevailing models for balancing equality with pluralism from thinkers Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum, John Rawls, Amy Gutmann, Dennis Thompson, Michael Oakeshott and Drucilla Cornell. From these liberal, democratic and conservative approaches to equality and pluralism, Freeberg builds a theory of responsive regard: reciprocal civility between citizens that forms a chastened conception of what we share as free and equal persons. This work seeks to add to political theorists' and politicians' arsenals of concepts for egalitarian and democratic theory.
An intelligent and insightful analysis of the complex relations between pluralism and equality. This book will prove helpful to anyone interested in contemporary political theory. -- Patrick Neal, University of Vermont
Regarding Equality is a wide-ranging, insightful account of contemporary political theories that seek to accommodate moral pluralism while advancing the values of freedom, fairness, and equality. . . . By building on Oakeshott's theories, Freeberg ultimately and forcefully defends a view of freedom centered on the human capacity for agency and on a political ethic aimed at protecting that capacity. -- Peter Digeser, University of California, Santa Barbara
Ellen Freeberg negotiates the difficult terrain of equality arguments with skill and precision. Poised between the conflicting approaches of traditional liberals and strong equality advocates, Freeberg's book seeks a conception of equality that would avoid the twin pitfalls of abstract universalism and moral perfectionism. Regarding Equality provides not only a clear account of the stakes involved in these competing positions but also a plausible alternative to them. -- Linda M. G. Zerilli, Northwestern University
Ellen Freeberg thoroughly investigates and explains the role of equality in political theory and practice, exploring its implications within liberalism and beyond. She is committed to far more than a survey of 'equality theory:" she unearths the foundations upon which the concept depends. -- Kennan Ferguson, University of South Florida
Freeberg's book is a fine contribution to the current debate on the relationship between equality and moral pluralism. * Ethics: An International Journal of Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy *
Regarding Equality is that rarest of accomplishments, an original work of political theory. -- Philip Green, The New School University