Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Martín A. Maldonado
The term redistribution refers to the criteria and the mechanisms shaping the authoritative allocation of valuable assets in a given society. In the narrow sense used in political science, it refers to the value-driven, commanding intervention of the state in society to extract resources from some groups (mainly in the form of taxes) in order to give them to other groups (using public expenditure and other redistributive mechanisms). Thinkers on the left of the ideological spectrum argue that the state should play an active role in this process, while those on the right hold that interaction in a free market is the most efficient mechanism of distribution. In what follows, there are clarifications on the scope and scientific usage of the term redistribution , an account of the historical evolution of the concept, a classification of political science's main theories on the role of the state and the dynamics of ...