The Constitution of Nondomination

Pincione argues that procedural constitutional guarantees of market freedoms best protect individuals from domination. If he is right, Philip Pettit's claim that various forms of state interference with private markets are needed to forestall domination will prove to be unwarranted. Pincione further contends that market freedoms are best protected by procedural rules for political decision-making, as opposed to constitutional guarantees of private property and other substantive rules.
Central to his position are claims that the dispersion of economic power precludes domination, and that free entry into markets furthers such dispersion. As against the idea that the state is in a better position to disperse economic power, Pincione argues that the constitutional provisions needed to implement that idea are contestable, and to that extent require interpretive powers that themselves involve domination. Only a constitution that, as a side effect of its procedures for political decision making, generates full private property rights holds out hope of shielding citizens from domination. This is so, because a plurality of suppliers of goods and services is a structural feature of the free market, in a sense of “structural” that matters for measurements of domination based on fairly uncontroversial claims about persons and resources.

Published in: Social Philosophy and Policy
2011 28 / Issue 01 Pages 261-289

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