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Social justice

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Social justice

Social justice is "justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society".[1] Classically, "justice" (especially corrective justice or distributive justice) referred to ensuring that individuals both fulfilled their societal roles,[2] and received what was due from society. "Social justice" is generally used to refer to a set of institutions which will enable people to lead a fulfilling life and be active contributors to their community.[3] The goal of social justice is generally the same as human development. The relevant institutions can include education, health care, social security, labour rights, as well as a broader system of public services, progressive taxation and regulation of markets, to ensure fair distribution of wealth, equality of opportunity, and no gross inequality of outcome.

While the concept of social justice can be traced through Ancient and Renaissance philosophy, such as [5] In the later 20th century, social justice was made central to the philosophy of the social contract, primarily by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice (1971). In 1993, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action treats social justice as a purpose of the human rights education.[6]


  • History 1
  • Contemporary theory 2
    • Judaism 2.1
    • Catholicism 2.2
    • Methodism 2.3
    • Hinduism 2.4
    • Islam 2.5
    • John Rawls 2.6
    • Criticism 2.7
    • Cosmic values 2.8
    • United Nations 2.9
  • Social justice movements 3
    • Liberation theology 3.1
    • Health care 3.2
    • Human rights education 3.3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The different concepts of justice, as discussed in ancient Western philosophy, were typically centered upon the community. Plato wrote in The Republic that it would be an ideal state that "every member of the community must be assigned to the class for which he finds himself best fitted."[7] Aristotle believed rights existed only between free people, and the law should take "account in the first instance of relations of inequality in which individuals are treated in proportion to their worth and only secondarily of relations of equality." The Letter to the Ephesians attributed to Paul[8] states that everyone should be bound to do his duty in the class where they were born. Reflecting this time when slavery and subjugation of women was typical, ancient views of justice tended to reflect the rigid class systems that still prevailed. On the other hand, for the privileged groups, strong concepts of fairness and the community existed. Distributive justice was said by Aristotle to require that people were distributed goods and assets according to their merit.[9] Socrates (through Plato's dialogue Crito) is attributed developing the idea of a social contract, whereby people ought to follow the rules of a society, and accept its burdens, because they have lived to accept its benefits.[10] During the Middle Ages, religious scholars particularly, such as Thomas Aquinas continued discussion of justice in various ways, but ultimately connected to being a good citizen for the purpose of serving God.

After the Renaissance and Reformation, the modern concept of social justice, as developing human potential, began to emerge through the work of a series of authors. Baruch Spinoza in On the Improvement of the Understanding (1677) contended that the one true aim of life should be to acquire "a human character much more stable than [one's] own", and to achieve this "pitch of perfection... The chief good is that he should arrive, together with other individuals if possible, at the possession of the aforesaid character."[11] During the enlightenment and responding to the French and American Revolutions, Thomas Paine similarly wrote in The Rights of Man (1792) society should give "genius a fair and universal chance" and so "the construction of government ought to be such as to bring forward... all that extent of capacity which never fails to appear in revolutions."[12]

"Social justice" was coined by Jesuit priest Luigi Taparelli in the 1840s.

The first modern usage of the specific term "social justice" is typically attributed to Catholic thinkers from the 1840s, including to the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in Civiltà Cattolica, based on the work of St. Thomas Aquinas. He argued that rival capitalist and socialist theories, based on subjective Cartesian thinking, undermined the unity of society present in Thomistic metaphysics as neither were sufficiently concerned with moral philosophy. Writing in 1861, the influential British philosopher, politician and economist, John Stuart Mill stated in Utilitarianism his view that "Society should treat all equally well who have deserved equally well of it, that is, who have deserved equally well absolutely. This is the highest abstract standard of social and distributive justice; towards which all institutions, and the efforts of all virtuous citizens, should be made in the utmost degree to converge."[13]

In the later 19th and early 20th century, social justice became an important theme in American political and legal philosophy, particularly with Friedrich von Hayek rejected the concept by stating that it did not mean anything, or meant too many things.[14] However the concept remained highly influential, particularly with its promotion by philosophers such as John Rawls.

Contemporary theory


In To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks states that social justice has a central place in Judaism. One of Judaism’s most distinctive and challenging ideas is its ethics of responsibility reflected in the concepts of simcha ("gladness" or "joy"), tzedakah ("the religious obligation to perform charity and philanthropic acts"), chesed ("deeds of kindness"), and tikkun olam ("repairing the world").


Catholic social teaching consists of those aspects of Roman Catholic doctrine which relate to matters dealing with the respect of the individual human life. A distinctive feature of the Catholic social doctrine is their concern for the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. Two of the seven key areas[15] of "Catholic social teaching" are pertinent to social justice:

  • Life and dignity of the human person: The foundational principle of all "Catholic Social Teaching" is the sanctity of all human life and the inherent dignity of every human person, from conception to natural death. Human life must be valued above all material possessions.
  • Preferential option for the poor and vulnerable: Catholics believe Jesus taught that on the Day of Judgement God will ask what each person did to help the poor and needy: "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."[16] The Catholic Church believes that through words, prayers and deeds one must show solidarity with, and compassion for, the poor. The moral test of any society is "how it treats its most vulnerable members. The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation. People are called to look at public policy decisions in terms of how they affect the poor."[17]

Even before it was propounded in the Catholic social doctrine, social justice appeared regularly in the history of the Catholic Church:

  • Pope Leo XIII, who studied under Taparelli, published in 1891 the encyclical Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of the Working Classes), rejecting both socialism and capitalism, while defending labor unions and private property. He stated that society should be based on cooperation and not class conflict and competition. In this document, Leo set out the Catholic Church's response to the social instability and labor conflict that had arisen in the wake of industrialization and had led to the rise of socialism. The Pope advocated that the role of the State was to promote social justice through the protection of rights, while the Church must speak out on social issues in order to teach correct social principles and ensure class harmony.
  • The encyclical Quadragesimo Anno (On Reconstruction of the Social Order, literally "in the fortieth year") of 1931 by Pope Pius XI, encourages a living wage,[18] subsidiarity, and advocates that social justice is a personal virtue as well as an attribute of the social order, saying that society can be just only if individuals and institutions are just.
  • Pope John Paul II added much to the corpus of the Catholic social teaching, penning three encyclicals which would deal with issues such as economics, politics, geo-political situations, ownership of the means of production, private property and the "social mortgage", and private property. The encyclicals of Laborem Exercens, Solicitudo Rei Socialis, and Centesimus Annus are just a small portion of his overall contribution to Catholic social justice. Pope John Paul II was a strong advocate of justice and human rights, and spoke forcefully for the poor. He addresses issues such as the problems that technology can present should it be misused, and admits a fear that the "progress" of the world is not true progress at all, if it should denigrate the value of the human person.
  • Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Deus Caritas Est ("God is Love") of 2006 claims that justice is the defining concern of the state and the central concern of politics, and not of the church, which has charity as its central social concern. It said that the laity has the specific responsibility of pursuing social justice in civil society and that the church's active role in social justice should be to inform the debate, using reason and natural law, and also by providing moral and spiritual formation for those involved in politics.
  • The official Catholic doctrine on social justice can be found in the book Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, published in 2004 and updated in 2006, by the Pontifical Council Iustitia et Pax.

The Catechism (§1928–1948) contain more detail of the Church's view of social justice.[19]


From its founding, Methodism was a Christian social justice movement. Under John Wesley's direction, Methodists became leaders in many social justice issues of the day, including the prison reform and abolitionism movements. Wesley himself was among the first to preach for slaves rights attracting significant opposition.[20][21][22]

Today, social justice plays a major role in the United Methodist Church. The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church says, "We hold governments responsible for the protection of the rights of the people to free and fair elections and to the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, communications media, and petition for redress of grievances without fear of reprisal; to the right to privacy; and to the guarantee of the rights to adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, and health care."[23] The United Methodist Church also teaches Population control as part of its doctrine.[24]


Ancient Hindu society was based on equality of all beings. However, to divide labor society divided itself into hundreds of tribes[Jati]. India was governed by people of non-Hindu faiths from the 8th century which caused ruptures in societal fabric. Caste is a word from the Portuguese word "casta" and caste came to define the jatis only 500 years ago. Considerable social engineering occurred during the British rule which impacted the society's self governance. There was some social injustice in which some jatis considered themselves superior to others. The present day jati hierarchy is undergoing changes for variety of reasons including 'social justice',which is a politically popular stance in democratic India. Institutionalized affirmative action has swung the pendulum. The disparity and wide inequalities in social behaviour to some of the jatis led to various reform movements in hinduism for centuries. While legally outlawed, the caste system remains strong in practice.


The Quran contains numerous references to elements of social justice. For example, one of Islam's Five Pillars is Zakāt, or alms-giving. Charity and assistance to the poor – concepts central to social justice – are and have historically been important parts of the Islamic faith.

In Muslim history, Islamic governance has often been associated with social justice. Establishment of social justice was one of the motivating factors of the Abbasid revolt against the Umayyads.[25] The Shi'a believe that the return of the Mahdi will herald in "the messianic age of justice" and the Mahdi along with the Messiah (Jesus) will end plunder, torture, oppression and discrimination.[26]

For the Muslim Brotherhood the implementation of social justice would require the rejection of consumerism and communism. The Brotherhood strongly affirmed the right to private property as well as differences in personal wealth due to factors such as hard work. However, the Brotherhood held Muslims had an obligation to assist those Muslims in need. It held that zakat (alms-giving) was not voluntary charity, but rather the poor had the right to assistance from the more fortunate.[27] Most Islamic governments therefore enforce the zakat through taxes.

Though monetary donations are the most practiced way of zakat, Islam is deeply rooted in the tenets of volunteerism and social activism. Areas of one's communities which require assistance and beneficiaries must be a Muslim's foci if need be, rather than strictly her or his personal or superficial wants. For example, the ecological well-being of the planet (i.e.: animal rights, global warming, natural resources degradation); locally, nationally, globally, is a campaign to which every Muslim must adhere. Many Muslims practice this today by ensuring that they produce minimal waste, give to charity what they no longer need, and spend time in prayer and meditation upon the bounties of nature so as to more mindfully approach all that is provided by nature,and ultimately, Allah.[28] Other areas of society in need may be the safety and security of minority populations, i.e.: women or persons of color, children, the elderly, the developmentally or physically disabled, animals, et al.[28] Social justice in Islam is a tenet to which every Muslim must corroborate in his or her daily life, and without which would create a void in all their efforts towards attaining true spirituality and a connection with God.islam lays great stress on doctorine"justice for all"

John Rawls

Political philosopher John Rawls draws on the utilitarian insights of Bentham and Mill, the social contract ideas of John Locke, and the categorical imperative ideas of Kant. His first statement of principle was made in A Theory of Justice where he proposed that, "Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others."[29] A deontological proposition that echoes Kant in framing the moral good of justice in absolutist terms. His views are definitively restated in Political Liberalism where society is seen "as a fair system of co-operation over time, from one generation to the next.".[30]

All societies have a basic structure of social, economic, and political institutions, both formal and informal. In testing how well these elements fit and work together, Rawls based a key test of legitimacy on the theories of social contract. To determine whether any particular system of collectively enforced social arrangements is legitimate, he argued that one must look for agreement by the people who are subject to it, but not necessarily to an objective notion of justice based on coherent ideological grounding. Obviously, not every citizen can be asked to participate in a poll to determine his or her consent to every proposal in which some degree of coercion is involved, so one has to assume that all citizens are reasonable. Rawls constructed an argument for a two-stage process to determine a citizen's hypothetical agreement:

  • The citizen agrees to be represented by X for certain purposes, and, to that extent, X holds these powers as a trustee for the citizen.
  • X agrees that enforcement in a particular social context is legitimate. The citizen, therefore, is bound by this decision because it is the function of the trustee to represent the citizen in this way.

This applies to one person who represents a small group (e.g., the organiser of a social event setting a dress code) as equally as it does to national governments, which are ultimate trustees, holding representative powers for the benefit of all citizens within their territorial boundaries. Governments that fail to provide for welfare of their citizens according to the principles of justice are not legitimate. To emphasise the general principle that justice should rise from the people and not be dictated by the law-making powers of governments, Rawls asserted that, "There is ... a general presumption against imposing legal and other restrictions on conduct without sufficient reason. But this presumption creates no special priority for any particular liberty."[31] This is support for an unranked set of liberties that reasonable citizens in all states should respect and uphold — to some extent, the list proposed by Rawls matches the normative human rights that have international recognition and direct enforcement in some nation states where the citizens need encouragement to act in a way that fixes a greater degree of equality of outcome. According to Rawls, the basic liberties that every good society should guarantee are,

  • Freedom of thought;
  • Liberty of conscience as it affects social relationships on the grounds of religion, philosophy, and morality;
  • Political liberties (e.g. representative democratic institutions, freedom of speech and the press, and freedom of assembly);
  • Freedom of association;
  • Freedoms necessary for the liberty and integrity of the person (viz: freedom from slavery, freedom of movement and a reasonable degree of freedom to choose one's occupation); and
  • Rights and liberties covered by the rule of law.


The concept of social justice has come under criticism from a variety of perspectives.

Many authors criticize the idea that there exists an objective standard of social justice. Moral relativists deny that there is any kind of objective standard for justice in general. Non-cognitivists, moral skeptics, moral nihilists, and most logical positivists deny the epistemic possibility of objective notions of justice. Political realists (such as Niccolò Machiavelli) believe that any ideal of social justice is ultimately a mere justification for the status quo.

Many other people accept some of the basic principles of social justice, such as the idea that all human beings have a basic level of value, but disagree with the elaborate conclusions that may or may not follow from this. One example is the statement by H. G. Wells that all people are "equally entitled to the respect of their fellowmen."[32]

On the other hand, some scholars reject the very idea of social justice as meaningless, religious, self-contradictory, and ideological, believing that to realize any degree of social justice is unfeasible, and that the attempt to do so must destroy all liberty. Perhaps the most complete rejection of the concept of social justice comes from Friedrich Hayek of the Austrian School of economics:

There can be no test by which we can discover what is 'socially unjust' because there is no subject by which such an injustice can be committed, and there are no rules of individual conduct the observance of which in the market order would secure to the individuals and groups the position which as such (as distinguished from the procedure by which it is determined) would appear just to us. [Social justice] does not belong to the category of error but to that of nonsense, like the term `a moral stone'.[33]

Ben O'Neill of the University of New South Wales argues that, for proponents of "social justice":[34]

the notion of "rights" is a mere term of entitlement, indicative of a claim for any possible desirable good, no matter how important or trivial, abstract or tangible, recent or ancient. It is merely an assertion of desire, and a declaration of intention to use the language of rights to acquire said desire. In fact, since the program of social justice inevitably involves claims for government provision of goods, paid for through the efforts of others, the term actually refers to an intention to use force to acquire one's desires. Not to earn desirable goods by rational thought and action, production and voluntary exchange, but to go in there and forcibly take goods from those who can supply them!

Janusz Korwin-Mikke argues simply: "Either 'social justice' has the same meaning as 'justice' – or not. If so – why use the additional word 'social?' We lose time, we destroy trees to obtain paper necessary to print this word. If not, if 'social justice' means something different from 'justice' – then 'something different from justice' is by definition 'injustice.'"

Sociologist Carl L. Bankston has argued that a secular, leftist view of social justice entails viewing the redistribution of goods and resources as based on the rights of disadvantaged categories of people, rather than on compassion or national interest. Bankston maintains that this secular version of social justice became widely accepted due to the rise of demand-side economics and to the moral influence of the civil rights movement.[35]

Cosmic values

Hunter Lewis' work promoting natural healthcare and sustainable economies advocates for conservation as a key premise in social justice. His manifesto on sustainability ties the continued thriving of human life to real conditions, the environment supporting that life, and associates injustice with the detrimental effects of unintended consequences of human actions. Quoting classical Greek thinkers like Epicurus on the good of pursuing happiness, Hunter also cites ornithologist, naturalist, and philosopher Alexander Skutch in his book Moral Foundations:

The common feature which unites the activities most consistently forbidden by the moral codes of civilized peoples is that by their very nature they cannot be both habitual and enduring, because they tend to destroy the conditions which make them possible.[36]

Pope Benedict XVI cites Teilhard de Chardin in a vision of the cosmos as a 'living host'[37] embracing an understanding of ecology that includes mankinds's relationship to fellow men, that pollution affects not just the natural world but interpersonal relations also. Cosmic harmony, justice and peace are closely interrelated:

If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation.[38]

United Nations

The United Nations’ 2006 document Social Justice in an Open World: The Role of the United Nations, states that “Social justice may be broadly understood as the fair and compassionate distribution of the fruits of economic growth...”[39]:16

The term "social justice" was seen by the U.N. "as a substitute for the protection of human rights [and] first appeared in United Nations texts during the second half of the 1960s. At the initiative of the Soviet Union, and with the support of developing countries, the term was used in the Declaration on Social Progress and Development, adopted in 1969."[39]:52

The same document reports, “From the comprehensive global perspective shaped by the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, neglect of the pursuit of social justice in all its dimensions translates into de facto acceptance of a future marred by violence, repression and chaos.”[39]:6 The report concludes, “Social justice is not possible without strong and coherent redistributive policies conceived and implemented by public agencies.”[39]:16

The same UN document offers a concise history: “[T]he notion of social justice is relatively new. None of history’s great philosophers—not Plato or Aristotle, or Confucius or Averroes, or even Rousseau or Kant—saw the need to consider justice or the redress of injustices from a social perspective. The concept first surfaced in Western thought and political language in the wake of the industrial revolution and the parallel development of the socialist doctrine. It emerged as an expression of protest against what was perceived as the capitalist exploitation of labour and as a focal point for the development of measures to improve the human condition. It was born as a revolutionary slogan embodying the ideals of progress and fraternity. Following the revolutions that shook Europe in the mid-1800s, social justice became a rallying cry for progressive thinkers and political activists.... By the mid-twentieth century, the concept of social justice had become central to the ideologies and programmes of virtually all the leftist and centrist political parties around the world...”[39]:11–12

Social justice movements

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Social justice is also a concept that is used to describe the movement towards a socially just world, e.g., the Global Justice Movement. In this context, social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality, and can be defined as "the way in which human rights are manifested in the everyday lives of people at every level of society".[40]

A number of movements are working to achieve social justice in society.[41][42] These movements are working towards the realization of a world where all members of a society, regardless of background or procedural justice, have basic human rights and equal access to the benefits of their society.

The term "social justice warrior" has been used to describe people who work for social justice issues, often claiming a moral authority and questioning the motives and moral integrity of those they oppose; people given as examples include Mahatma Gandhi and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.[43] In internet culture, the term has been used as a pejorative for someone advocating for social justice issues such as racism, sexism, or homophobia. Frequently initialized as "SJW", it is used to accuse ideological opponents of sanctimony,[44] to insinuate pretense,[45][46] and as a general purpose negative.[47][48][49] Although most commonly used to cast negative implications, some have reappropriated the term as a neutral or positive source of identity.[50][51]

Liberation theology

Liberation theology[52] is a movement in Christian theology which conveys the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. It has been described by proponents as "an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor's suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor",[53] and by detractors as Christianity perverted by Marxism and Communism.[54]

Although liberation theology has grown into an international and inter-denominational movement, it began as a movement within the Catholic Church in Latin America in the 1950s–1960s. It arose principally as a moral reaction to the poverty caused by social injustice in that region. It achieved prominence in the 1970s and 1980s. The term was coined by the Peruvian priest, Gustavo Gutiérrez, who wrote one of the movement's most famous books, A Theology of Liberation (1971). According to Sarah Kleeb, "Marx would surely take issue," she writes, "with the appropriation of his works in a religious context...there is no way to reconcile Marx's views of religion with those of Gutierrez, they are simply incompatible. Despite this, in terms of their understanding of the necessity of a just and righteous world, and the nearly inevitable obstructions along such a path, the two have much in common; and, particularly in the first edition of [A Theology of Liberation], the use of Marxian theory is quite evident."[55]

Other noted exponents are Leonardo Boff of Brazil, Jon Sobrino of El Salvador, and Juan Luis Segundo of Uruguay.[56][57]

Health care

Social justice has more recently made its way into the field of bioethics. Discussion involves topics such as affordable access to health care, especially for low income households and families. The discussion also raises questions such as whether society should bear healthcare costs for low income families, and whether the global marketplace is a good thing to deal with healthcare. Ruth Faden and Madison Powers of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics focus their analysis of social justice on which inequalities matter the most. They develop a social justice theory that answers some of these questions in concrete settings.

Social injustices occur when there is a preventable difference in health states among a population of people. These social injustices take on the form of health inequities when negative health states such as malnourishment, and infectious diseases are more prevalent among an impoverished nation.[58] These negative health states can often be prevented by providing social and economic structures such as Primary Healthcare which ensure the general population has equal access to health care services regardless of income level, gender, education or any other stratifying factor. Integrating social justice to health inherently reflects the social determinants of health model without discounting the role of the bio-medical model.[59]

Human rights education

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action affirm that "Human rights education should include peace, democracy, development and social justice, as set forth in international and regional human rights instruments, in order to achieve common understanding and awareness with a view to strengthening universal commitment to human rights."[60]

See also


  1. ^ New Oxford American Dictionary
  2. ^ Aristotle, The Politics (ca 350 BC)
  3. ^ John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (1971) 4, "the principles of social justice: they provide a way of assigning rights and duties in the basic institutions of society and they define the appropriate distribution of benefits and burdens of social cooperation."
  4. ^ J. Zajda, S. Majhanovich, V. Rust, Education and Social Justice, 2006, ISBN 1-4020-4721-5
  5. ^ The Preamble of ILO Constitution
  6. ^ Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, Part II, D.
  7. ^ Plato, The Republic (ca 380BC)
  8. ^ Paul, Ephesians, V 22 and VI, 1 to 5
  9. ^ Nicomachean Ethics V.3
  10. ^ Plato, Crito (ca 380 BC)
  11. ^ B Spinoza, ''On the Improvement of the Understanding (1677) para 13
  12. ^ T Paine, Rights of Man (1792) 197
  13. ^ JS Mill, Utilitarianism (1863)
  14. ^ FA Hayek, Law, Legislation and Liberty (1973) vol II, ch 3
  15. ^ "Seven Key Themes of Catholic Social Teaching". Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  16. ^ Matthew 25:40.
  17. ^ Option for the Poor, Major themes from Catholic Social Teaching, Office for Social Justice, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
  18. ^ Popularised by John A. Ryan, although see Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb, Industrial Democracy (1897)
  19. ^ "Catechism of the Catholic Church – Social justice". Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  20. ^ S. R. Valentine, John Bennet & the Origins of Methodism and the Evangelical revival in England, Scarecrow Press, Lanham, 1997.
  21. ^ Carey, Brycchan. “John Wesley (1703–1791).” The British Abolitionists. Brycchan Carey, July 11, 2008. October 5, 2009.
  22. ^ Wesley John, “Thoughts Upon Slavery,” John Wesley: Holiness of Heart and Life. Charles Yrigoyen, 1996. October 5, 2009.
  23. ^ The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church – 2012 ¶164 V,
  24. ^ The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church – 2008 ¶ 162 K,
  25. ^  
  26. ^  
  27. ^  
  28. ^ a b "The Eco Muslim". 
  29. ^ John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (2005 reissue), Chapter 1, "Justice as Fairness" – 1. The Role of Justice, pp. 3–4
  30. ^ John Rawls, Political Liberalism 15 (Columbia University Press 2003)
  31. ^ John Rawls, Political Liberalism 291–92 (Columbia University Press 2003)
  32. ^ "The Rights of Man", Daily Herald, London, February 1940
  33. ^ "Law, legislation, and liberty, Volume 3, The Mirage of Social Justice", F.A. Hayek, Routledge, 1973
  34. ^ O'Neill, Ben (2011-03-16) The Injustice of Social Justice, Mises Institute
  35. ^ Social Justice: Cultural Origins of a Theory and a Perspective By Carl L. Bankston III, Independent Review vol. 15 no. 2, pp. 165–178, 2010
  36. ^ Hunter Lewis (October 14, 2009). "Sustainability, The Complete Concept, Environment, Healthcare, and Economy". ChangeThis. 
  37. ^ John Allen Jr. (Jul 28, 2009). "Ecology – The first stirring of an 'evolutionary leap' in late Jesuit's official standing?". National Catholic Reporter. 
  38. ^ Sandro Magister (January 11, 2010). "Benedict XVI to the Diplomats: Three Levers for Lifting Up the World". www.chiesa, Rome. 
  39. ^ a b c d e "Social Justice in an Open World: The Role of the United Nations", The International Forum for Social Development, DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS, Division for Social Policy and Development, ST/ESA/305" (PDF). New York: United Nations. 2006. 
  40. ^ Just Comment – Volume 3 Number 1, 2000
  41. ^ "Main Page – Social Justice Wiki". 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  42. ^ "Social Justice and Social Justice Movements". 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  43. ^ Dixon E Southworth. "A vision for the next century - government without corruption".  
  44. ^ Hill, Max (17 November 2014). "In Defence of Social Justice Warriors". The Peak. SJWs are generally young, white, and spend their time on social media condemning those who fail to live up to their own moral and ethical standards. 
  45. ^ North, Anna (29 August 2014). "Why a Video Game Critic Was Forced to Flee Her home". New York Times OP Talk. [citing Vice] "For certain segments of the gaming world, she writes, the term refers to “people who, according to Urbandictionary, engage in ‘social justice arguments on the internet… in an effort to raise their own personal reputation.’ In other words, SJWs don’t hold strong principles, but they pretend to.”" 
  46. ^ Ringo, Allegra (28 August 2014). "Meet the Female Gamer Mascot Born of Anti-Feminist Internet Drama". Vice. People who, according to Urban Dictionary, engage in “social justice arguments on the internet... in an effort to raise their own personal reputation.” In other words, SJWs don’t hold strong principles, but they pretend to. The problem is, that’s not a real category of people. It’s simply a way to dismiss anyone who brings up social justice—and often those people are feminists. It’s awfully convenient to have a term at the ready to dismiss women who bring up sexism, as in, "You don’t really care. As an SJW, you’re just taking up this cause to make yourself look good!" 
  47. ^ "Gamers Misogynistic? Some Certainly Are". Irish Times. 18 October 2014. The term "social justice warrior" GamerGate: A Closer Look At The Controversy Sweeping Video Games(surely a good thing) has been used pejoratively to describe those writers who choose to examine the social and political subtexts of contemporary video games 
  48. ^ "The Only Guide to Gamergate You Will Ever Need to Read". Washington Post. 14 October 2014. ..."SJW," for social justice warrior -- a kind of shorthand insult for liberals and progressives. 
  49. ^ "Understanding the Jargon of Gamergate". Recode. 10 October 2014. any person, female or male, who argues online for political correctness or feminism. “Social justice” may sound like a good thing to many of our readers, but the people who use this term only use it pejoratively. 
  50. ^ "Why Social Justice Warriors are losing". Spectator Blogs. 
  51. ^ "In defence of ‘social justice warriors’ - The Peak". The Peak. 
  52. ^ In the mass media, 'Liberation Theology' can sometimes be used loosely, to refer to a wide variety of activist Christian thought. This article uses the term in the narrow sense outlined here.
  53. ^ Berryman, Phillip, Liberation Theology: essential facts about the revolutionary movement in Latin America and beyond(1987)
  54. ^ "[David] Horowitz first describes liberation theology as 'a form of Marxised Christianity,' which has validity despite the awkward phrasing, but then he calls it a form of 'Marxist-Leninist ideology,' which is simply not true for most liberation theology..." Robert Shaffer, "Acceptable Bounds of Academic Discourse," Organization of American Historians Newsletter 35, November, 2007. URL retrieved 12 July 2010.
  55. ^ Sarah Kleeb, "Envisioning Emancipation: Karl Marx, Gustavo Gutierrez, and the Struggle of Liberation Theology"; Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion (CSSR), Toronto, 2006. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  56. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism (Harper Collins, 1994), chapter IV.
  57. ^ Gustavo Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation, First (Spanish) edition published in Lima, Peru, 1971; first English edition published by Orbis Books (Maryknoll, New York), 1973.
  58. ^ Farmer, Paul E., Bruce Nizeye, Sara Stulac, and Salmaan Keshavjee. 2006. Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine. PLoS Medicine, 1686–1691
  59. ^ Cueto, Marcos. 2004. The ORIGINS of Primary Health Care and SELECTIVE Primary Health Care. Am J Public Health 94 (11):1868
  60. ^ Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, Part II, paragraph 80


  • LD Brandeis, 'The Living Law' (1915–1916) 10 Illinois Law Review 461
  • A Etzioni, 'The Fair Society, Uniting America: Restoring the Vital Center to American Democracy' in N Garfinkle and D Yankelovich (eds) (Yale University Press 2005) pp. 211–223
  • M Novak, 'Defining Social Justice' (2000) First Things
  • B O'Neill, 'The Injustice of Social Justice' (Mises Institute)
  • R Pound, 'Social Justice and Legal Justice' (1912) 75 Central Law Journal 455
  • M Powers and R Faden, 'Inequalities in health, inequalities in health care: four generations of discussion about justice and cost-effectiveness analysis' (2000) 10(2) Kennedy Inst Ethics Journal 109–127
  • M Powers and R Faden, 'Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care: An Ethical Analysis of When and How They Matter,' in Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care (National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, 2002) 722–38
  • United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 'Social Justice in an Open World: The Role of the United Nations' (2006) ST/ESA/305
  • AB Atkinson, Social Justice and Public Policy (1982) previews
  • Gad Barzilai, Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities (University of Michigan Press) analysis of justice for non-ruling communities
  • TN Carver, Essays in Social Justice (1915) Chapter links.
  • C Quigley The Evolution Of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis (1961) 2nd edition 1979
  • P Corning, The Fair Society: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice (Chicago UP 2011)
  • R Faden and M Powers, Social Justice: The Moral Foundations of Public Health and Health Policy (OUP 2006)
  • J Franklin (ed), Life to the Full: Rights and Social Justice in Australia (Connor Court 2007)
  • FA Hayek, Law, Legislation and Liberty (1973) vol II, ch 3
  • G Kitching, Seeking Social Justice through Globalization: Escaping a Nationalist Perspective (2003)
  • JS Mill, Utilitarianism (1863)
  • John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Harvard University Press 1971)
  • John Rawls, Political Liberalism (Columbia University Press 1993)
  • C Philomena, B Hoose and G Mannion (eds), Social Justice: Theological and Practical Explorations (2007)
  • A Swift, Political Philosophy (3rd edn 2013) ch 1

External links

  • Leading Social Justice Organizations in the United States
  • Social Justice Month
  • The Forward covers the emergent Jewish Social Justice Roundtable.
  • Social Justice Movements in the US.
  • Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition, Ontario, Canada.
  • Social Justice Now – Global Social Justice News.
  • Social Justice Solutions – Social Justice News | Topics | Issues
  • - Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, UK.
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