Revisiting Recognition and Redistribution and Extending the Borders
Julia Szalai’s Contribution
This article revisits the recognition and redistribution debates emerging from Nancy Fraser’s 1995 agenda article underscoring the dangers in the rise of identity politics and displacement of economic justice in postsocialist age. Júlia Szalai has been a crucial actor in reshaping the research on recognition struggles, and I will focus on the important contribution of her research on the Roma. Looking beyond dichotomy in recognition and redistribution, Szalai’s research has highlighted the interplay and overlapping configurations in recognition struggles: their institutional and historical embeddedness and their emphasis on political agency and voice. Her analysis of the multiple and interacting processes of exclusion of the Roma in Central Europe, including the spatial, educational and employment dimensions and the lack of political representation, reflect a near congruence in misrecognition and malredistribution. Her research highlights shifts in the discourse from the cultural wars to the redistributional wars in neo-liberal market economies between those who have lost status and income in the dominant population and the most vulnerable (minority and migrant populations). Finally, Szalai’s research and writings have extended the theoretical and empirical borders on recognition struggles, engaging with the frameworks of intersectionalities and capabilities both of which offer lenses for revealing complex inequalities and the tensions within the paradigms for social justice that have inspired my own research.
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