Back to the Theory: Re-Considering Social Policies as Egalitarian Pre-Conditions of the Liberal Meritocracy

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Arun M. O.

Çalışma ve Toplum, vol.2, no.73, pp.1017-1042, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 73
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.54752/ct.1097161
  • Journal Name: Çalışma ve Toplum
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1017-1042
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Looking at the given literature of social policy, it is clearly seen that both definition and objectives of social policies are either explicitly or implicitly associated with the aim of building up just society. However, most of contemporary scholarly works does neither clearly express what type of social justice is aimed by these policies nor explain how and why socio-economic structure of stratified societies morally necessitates social policies. Such ambiguities appear primarily due to insufficient engagement of contemporary social policy literature with broad literature of social justice developed by political philosophy and advanced by sociological conception of inequalities. Thus, an implication of such ambiguities is that the moral justification behind social policies either remains unclear or is covertly built upon a philanthropic and/or altruistic reasoning. Departing from these ambiguities and their implications, this work firstly focuses on the desert and merit-centred value distribution through which the liberal school of social justice in the political philosophy justifies inequalities in outcome. Following this, it discusses on morally flawed nature of the meritocratic distributional model and its associated policies, such as equality of opportunity, by drawing on sociological conception of inequalities. Lastly, underlining the role of individual’s social class in formation of merits and referring to recent conceptual developments in the broad literature of social justice, it justifies social policy as inevitable egalitarian pre-condition, rather than philanthropic and/or altruistic initiatives, for the liberal meritocratic value distribution.