Complex equality

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Complex equality is a theory of justice outlined by Michael Walzer in his work Spheres of Justice. The theory posits that inequalities in the several spheres of society should not invade one another.[1]

Walzer's definition of complex equality is:

In formal terms, complex equality means that no citizen's standing in one sphere or with regard to one social good can be undercut by his standing in some other sphere.[2]


  • Richard J. Arneson (1990), Against "Complex Equality", Public Affairs Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Apr. 1990), pp. 99-110

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barrie Axford, Gary K. Browning (1997) Politics: an introduction, Routledge: London, P. 210
  2. ^ Hooghe, M. (1999) "The Notion of Complex Equality and the Beauty of Alcibiades", Ethical Perspectives: 6:3/4