New Insight Series Paper: ‘Meritocracy and the Common Good’

29th April 2021Publications

The Centre has recently published a new Insight Series paper, titled ‘Meritocracy and the Common Good’. Authored by Research Fellow Dr. David Civil, the paper discusses the state of meritocracy in contemporary liberal democracies. The widely shared post-war vision of a meritocratic social order, where power, status and rewards would be distributed according to a definition of individual merit, now stands condemned by figures across the political spectrum. Meritocracy is accused of creating or exacerbating a wide range of contemporary ills, from the rise of populism to the erosion of civic space. In seeking to move beyond the principles of meritocracy, however, public discourse often lacks a well-grounded conceptual language. This paper suggests that an egalitarian and democratic reading of Aristotelian distributive principles can help repair the erosion of commonality which characterises many liberal democracies. The full paper is available to view here.

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