Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy and Public Affairs

Reader 1

Professor Andrew Schroeder

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Rights Information

2018 Kai O Vogel

OCLC Record Number



In Martha Nussbaum’s book Frontiers of Global Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership, she presents the capabilities approach, a new theoretical framework that in her view better responds to the urgent problems of social inequality than existing theories of social justice. This thesis evaluates her descriptive claim by applying the capabilities approach to the French burqa ban and assessing whether the ban is unjust, and if so, what forms of intervention are most appropriate. In doing this, I will argue that Nussbaum’s theory is unsatisfactory unless she extends it to include the obligation to criticize in cases where we are certain that an injustice is being committed.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.