A última edição da Political Studies trouxe uma seção especial sobre o livro The Imperative of Integration da filosofa Elizabeth Anderson (Michigan). Os artigos são fruto de uma mesa redonda da edição de 2013 da American Political Science Association (APSA). Em The Imperative of Integration Anderson procura explicar tanto os mecanismos de exclusão racial vigentes nos EUA, como defender a necessidade da integração imediata desses setores marginalizados às oportunidades geradas pela cooperação social (as últimas notícias de Ferguson/Missouri reforçam os argumentos de Anderson!). O livro é também uma tentativa de integrar a metodologia e os dados das ciências socais ao tipo de discussão normativa presente na filosofia política contemporânea (tema do artigo de Jack Knight). Entre os debatedores, Benjamin Hertzeberg, Lawrie Balfour, Jack Knight, e, claro, a própria Anderson.
Professor Anderson’s work is an extended argument that contemporary liberal democracies ought to pursue racially integrative policies in order to achieve social justice and a healthy democratic society. Her work is remarkable for two reasons. First, it cuts against the dominant approach of contemporary multiculturalism in arguing that public policies ought to prioritize the integration of minority groups into all areas of social life over preserving minority communities and enclaves. Second, it offers a unique methodological approach to non-ideal political theorizing. Anderson intends Imperative as a demonstration of the considerable value pragmatist political theory can add to norma- tive and policy discussions.
Anderson develops her argument for racial integration through careful examination of the empirical data about race, opportunity, political participation and segregation in the US. Her conclusion is that segregation is a principal cause of persistent racial disparities in health, economic opportunities, and political efficacy and participation. While the data Anderson analyzes and many of the ethical and policy debates she engages stem from the US case, her conclusions are of general scope. They are driven by the application of sociological theories from Max Weber and Charles Tilly that explain social inequality as a consequence of spatial and role segregation. As such, her conclusions are widely applicable to all cases of domestic identity-group-based inequalities, whether they occur as a consequence of race, caste, religion, ethnicity, language group or gender. We believe that her work and the symposium that follows will be of considerable interest to political scientists and theorists in the UK and elsewhere, particularly given contemporary con- troversy over multiculturalism.