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Démocratie et justice sociale : Arrow-Harsanyi- Rawls-Sen, un quatuor dissonant


  • Philippe Adair

    (ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)


Is social justice congruent with democracy? Are utilitarianism and welfare economics compatible with political liberalism? Salient disagreements between welfare economics and political philosophy focus upon the choice of principles of justice in a democratic society, and sustainability thereof remains an open question. Arrow's theorem establishes the impossibility of grounding a social welfare function upon individual preferences. Harsanyi's rule-utilitarianism builds a welfare function upon Bayesian expected utility. Rawls's contractarian theory of justice upholds the priority of the right over the good. Sen's theory of social choice rejects the compatibility of the Pareto principle with political liberalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Adair, 2016. "Démocratie et justice sociale : Arrow-Harsanyi- Rawls-Sen, un quatuor dissonant," Post-Print hal-01672892, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01672892
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    More about this item


    democracy; justice; political liberalism; social choice; utilitarianism; welfare; préférences; utilitarisme; libéralisme politique; Bien-être; choix social; démocratie; I32; D71; JEL Classification: D63;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement


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