Social justice is a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and social privileges. In Western as well as in older Asian cultures, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society. In the current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice.
Social justice assigns rights and duties in the institutions of society, which enables people to receive the basic benefits and burdens of cooperation. The relevant institutions often include taxation, social insurance, public health, public school, public services, labor law and regulation of markets, to ensure fair distribution of wealth, and equal opportunity.
Interpretations that relate justice to a reciprocal relationship to society are mediated by differences in cultural traditions, some of which emphasize the individual responsibility toward society and others the equilibrium between access to power and its responsible use. Hence, social justice is invoked today while reinterpreting historical figures such as Bartolomé de las Casas, in philosophical debates about differences among human beings, in efforts for gender, racial and social equality, for advocating justice for migrants, prisoners, the environment, and the physically and developmentally disabled.
While the concept of social justice can be traced through the theology of Augustine of Hippo and the philosophy of Thomas Paine, the term "social justice" became used explicitly from the 1840s. A Jesuit priest named Luigi Taparelli is typically credited with coining the term, and it spread during the revolutions of 1848 with the work of Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. However, recent research has proved that the use of the expression "social justice" is older (even before the 19th century). In the late industrial revolution, progressive American legal scholars began to use the term more, particularly Louis Brandeis and Roscoe Pound. From the early 20th century it was also embedded in international law and institutions; the preamble to establish the International Labour Organization recalled that "universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice." 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 human rights education.
Some authors such as Friedrich Hayek criticize the concept of social justice, arguing the lack of objective, accepted moral standard; and that while there is a legal definition of what is just and equitable "there is no test of what is socially unjust", and further that social justice is often used for the reallocation of resources based on an arbitrary standard which may in fact be inequitable or unjust.
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." 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."
Although there is no certainty about the first use of the term "social justice", early sources can be found in Europe in the 18th century. Some references to the use of the expression are in articles of journals aligned with the spirit of the Enlightenment, in which social justice is described as an obligation of the monarch; also the term is present in books written by Catholic Italian theologians, notably members of the Society of Jesus. Thus, according to this sources and the context, social justice was another term for "the justice of society", the justice that rules the relations among individuals in society, without any mention to socio-economic equity or human dignity.
The usage of the term started to become more frequent by Catholic thinkers from the 1840s, including 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 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."
In the later 19th and early 20th century, social justice became an important theme in American political and legal philosophy, particularly in the work of John Dewey, Roscoe Pound and Louis Brandeis. One of the prime concerns was the Lochner era decisions of the US Supreme Court to strike down legislation passed by state governments and the Federal government for social and economic improvement, such as the eight-hour day or the right to join a trade union. After the First World War, the founding document of the International Labour Organization took up the same terminology in its preamble, stating that "peace can be established only if it is based on social justice". From this point, the discussion of social justice entered into mainstream legal and academic discourse.
Thus, in 1931, the Pope Pius XI stated the expression for the first time in the Catholic Social Teaching in the encyclical Quadragesimo Anno. Then again in Divini Redepmtoris, the Church pointed out that the realisation of social justice relied on the promotion of the dignity of human person. The same year, and because of the documented influence of Divini Redemptoris in its drafters, the Constitution of Ireland was the first one to establish the term as a principle of the economy in the State, and then other countries around the world did the same throughout the 20th century, even in Socialist regimes such as the Cuban Constitution in 1976.
In the late 20th century, a number of liberal and conservative thinkers, notably Friedrich von Hayek rejected the concept by stating that it did not mean anything, or meant too many things. However the concept remained highly influential, particularly with its promotion by philosophers such as John Rawls. Even though the meaning of social justice varies, at least three common elements can be identified in the contemporary theories about it: a duty of the State to distribute certain vital means (such as economic, social, and cultural rights), the protection of human dignity, and affirmative actions to promote equal opportunities for everybody.
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.
Pope Benedict XVI cites Teilhard de Chardin in a vision of the cosmos as a 'living host' embracing an understanding of ecology that includes humanity's relationship to others, that pollution affects not just the natural world but interpersonal relations as well. Cosmic harmony, justice and peace are closely interrelated:
If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation.
In The Quest for Cosmic Justice, Thomas Sowell writes that seeking utopia, while admirable, may have disastrous effects if done without strong consideration of the economic underpinnings that support contemporary society.
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." 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".
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:
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." 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:
Thomas Pogge's arguments pertain to a standard of social justice that creates human rights deficits. He assigns responsibility to those who actively cooperate in designing or imposing the social institution, that the order is foreseeable as harming the global poor and is reasonably avoidable. Pogge argues that social institutions have a negative duty to not harm the poor.
Pogge speaks of "institutional cosmopolitanism" and assigns responsibility to institutional schemes for deficits of human rights. An example given is slavery and third parties. A third party should not recognize or enforce slavery. The institutional order should be held responsible only for deprivations of human rights that it establishes or authorizes. The current institutional design, he says, systematically harms developing economies by enabling corporate tax evasion, illicit financial flows, corruption, trafficking of people and weapons. Joshua Cohen disputes his claims based on the fact that some poor countries have done well with the current institutional design. Elizabeth Kahn argues that some of these responsibilities should apply globally.
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 ...":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.":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.":6 The report concludes, "Social justice is not possible without strong and coherent redistributive policies conceived and implemented by public agencies.":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 ...":11–12
The present-day Jāti hierarchy is undergoing changes for a variety of reasons including 'social justice', which is a politically popular stance in democratic India. Institutionalized affirmative action has promoted this. The disparity and wide inequalities in social behaviour of the jātis – exclusive, endogamous communities centred on traditional occupations – has led to various reform movements in Hinduism. While legally outlawed, the caste system remains strong in practice.
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. The Shi'a believe that the return of the Mahdi will herald in "the messianic age of justice" and the Mahdi along with the Isa (Jesus) will end plunder, torture, oppression and discrimination.
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. Most Islamic governments therefore enforce the zakat through taxes.
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").
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 abolition movements. Wesley himself was among the first to preach for slaves rights attracting significant opposition.
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." The United Methodist Church also teaches population control as part of its doctrine.
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 Catholic social doctrine is its concern for the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. Two of the seven key areas of "Catholic social teaching" are pertinent to social justice:
Even before it was propounded in the Catholic social doctrine, social justice appeared regularly in the history of the Catholic Church:
The Catechism (§ 1928–1948) contain more detail of the Church's view of social justice.
The Chinese concept of Tian Ming has occasionally been perceived as an expression of social justice. Through it, the deposition of unfair rulers is justified in that civic dissatisfaction and economical disasters is perceived as Heaven withdrawing its favor from the Emperor. A successful rebellion is considered definite proof that the Emperor is unfit to rule.
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".
A number of movements are working to achieve social justice in society. These movements are working toward 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.
Liberation theology 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", and by detractors as Christianity perverted by Marxism and Communism.
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."
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 the best way to distribute healthcare. Ruth Faden of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and Madison Powers of Georgetown University 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 the form of health inequities when negative health states such as malnourishment, and infectious diseases are more prevalent in impoverished nations. These negative health states can often be prevented by providing social and economic structures such as primary healthcare which ensures the general population has equal access to health care services regardless of income level, gender, education or any other stratifying factors. Integrating social justice with health inherently reflects the social determinants of health model without discounting the role of the bio-medical model.
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."
Social justice principles are embedded in the larger environmental movement. The third principle of The Earth Charter is Social and economic justice, which is described as seeking to 1) Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative 2) Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner 3) Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity, and 4) Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
The Climate Justice and Environmental Justice movements also incorporate social justice principles, ideas, and practices. Climate justice and environmental justice, as movements within the larger ecological and environmental movement, each incorporate social justice in a particular way. Climate justice includes concern for social justice pertaining to greenhouse gas emissions, climate-induced environmental displacement, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation. Environmental justice includes concern for social justice pertaining to either environmental benefits or environmental pollution based on their equitable distribution across communities of color, communities of various socio/economic stratification, or any other barriers to justice.
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 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."
Friedrich Hayek of the Austrian School of economics: rejects 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:
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'.
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!
2011 Israeli middle class protests may refer to:
The cottage cheese boycott – a massive consumer boycott held in Israel in June 2011 in protest of the spike in food prices, which led to significant price reductions of cottage cheese and cream cheese.
2011 Israeli social justice protests – a series of demonstrations in Israel beginning in July 2011 involving hundreds of thousands of protesters from a variety of socio-economic and religious backgrounds opposing the continuing rise in the cost of living in Israel, and particularly the relatively high housing prices in Israel as well as the lack of affordable housing solutions in the country. They have evolved into wider claims for social justice.2011 Israeli social justice protests
The 2011 Israeli social justice protests (Hebrew: מְחָאָת צֶדֶק חֶבְרָתִי), which are also referred to by various other names in the media, were a series of demonstrations in Israel beginning in July 2011 involving hundreds of thousands of protesters from a variety of socio-economic and religious backgrounds opposing the continuing rise in the cost of living (particularly housing) and the deterioration of public services such as health and education. A common rallying cry at the demonstrations was the chant; "The people demand social justice!".
As the protests expanded during August 2011, the demonstrations began to also focus on other related issues relating to the social order and power structure in Israel.
The housing protests which sparked the first demonstrations began as a result of a Facebook protest group that initially led hundreds of people to establish tents in the Rothschild Boulevard in the center of Tel Aviv, an act which soon gained momentum, media attention and began a public discourse in Israel regarding the high cost of housing and living expenses. Soon afterwards, the protests spread to many other major cities in Israel as thousands of Israeli protesters began establishing tents in the middle of central streets in major cities as a means of protest. As part of the protests, several mass demonstrations have been held across the country, in which hundreds of thousands of people have participated.
A major focus of the protests have been what organizers have termed social justice. Part of the movement is about changing the social order, and the economic system. Calls to topple the government were made by some parts of the protests. Criticism of the protests includes accusations of a political agenda rather than a social one with revelations of funding from specific left-wing individuals and organizations like S. Daniel Abraham and the New Israel Fund. Maariv journalist Kalman Libeskind claimed that the spontaneous protests had actually been three months in the planning by Stan Greenberg and orchestrated by left-wing organizations and the National Left. Criticism within the protests accused the 'protest leaders' of not publicizing specific goals, the lack of visibility of their goals, and the damaging impact of media focus being on a few activists.Following the first large-scale protests in early August, the government announced that a series of measures would be taken to solve the housing shortage, some of which were already under preparation and ratification, and some which were new measures proposed in response to the demands of the protest movement leadership. In addition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed a team of ministers and senior staff members from his office, headed by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, to negotiate with the protest leaders as well as the Trajtenberg Committee. Since that time, there was significant criticism of the Prime Minister's perceived insensitivity to the public sentiment, prompting speculation that general sympathy for the protest movement may cause one or more members of the governing coalition to leave the government, triggering national elections.On 22 June 2012, Daphne Leaf and several other activists tried to restart the housing protests by re-erecting a tent encampment on Rothschild Boulevard. The municipality had not given a permit and as a result Leaf, along with eleven other activists, were arrested when they resisted the twenty policemen and municipal inspectors who arrived to dismantle the tents which were confiscated.Centre for Animals and Social Justice
The Centre for Animals and Social Justice (CASJ) is a British charity founded in 2011 to advance the social and political status of nonhuman animals. The CASJ aims to "embed animal protection as a core goal of public policy." Dan Lyons, former campaigns director of Uncaged Campaigns and an honorary research fellow at the University of Sheffield, is the chief executive officer. Angela Roberts, founder of Uncaged Campaigns is the MDIn addition to Lyons, other founding members are political theorists Alasdair Cochrane and Robert Garner of the University of Sheffield and University of Leicester respectively.
One of the issues the CASJ explores is how nonhumans can be offered political representation as vulnerable individuals. The CASJ was involved in 2012 with other animal protection groups in consulting with members of parliament over an amendment to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. In 2014 the CASJ garnered the support of 16 animal protection organizations in support of a governmental Animal Protection Commission.Centre for Social Justice
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is an independent centre-right think tank co-founded in 2004 by Iain Duncan Smith, Tim Montgomerie and Philippa Stroud.Communist Party of Social Justice
The Communist Party of Social Justice (CPSU; Russian: Коммунистическая партия социальной справедливости) is a communist party in Russia established and registered in 2012 which favours the construction of a socialist state. The party was created with the participation of the leader of the Democratic Party of Russia and politician Andrey Bogdanov.In the 2013 elections in Volgograd, the party received 5.04% (9055 votes) breaking the five-percent threshold and received one seat in the city Parliament.In 2014, Bognadov became party leader, succeeding Yuri Morozov in this post. Andrei Brezhnev, grandson of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev, was elected First Secretary of the Central Committee of the party. In this year's election, Brezhnev was the candidate for the Parliament of Crimea and Sevastopol, but the party did not win any seats.The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) has accused the party of being a creation of the Kremlin and United Russia to siphon votes away from the KPRF.Dan Lyons
Dan Lyons is the chief executive officer of the Centre for Animals and Social Justice, a British animal protection charity. He is an honorary research fellow at the University of Sheffield and the author of The Politics of Animal Experimentation (2013).Lyons specializes in the study of animal research, the philosophy of animal rights, and the political representation of animals' interests. He is the former campaigns director of Uncaged Campaigns (1993–2012), a group that opposed animal experiments in the UK, in particular xenotransplantation. During his time with Uncaged, Lyons became known as the author of Diaries of Despair (2000), a report that reproduced and analysed leaked documents about pig-to-primate organ transplants.Environmental studies
Environmental studies is a multidisciplinary academic field which systematically studies human interaction with the environment in the interests of solving complex problems. Environmental studies brings together the principles of the physical sciences, commerce/economics and social sciences so as to solve contemporary environmental problems. It is a broad field of study that includes the natural environment, the built environment, and the sets of relationships between them. The field encompasses study in basic principles of ecology and environmental science, as well as associated subjects such as ethics, geography, anthropology, policy, politics, urban planning, law, economics, philosophy, sociology and social justice, planning, pollution control and natural resource management. There are also many degree programs in Environmental Studies including the Master of Environmental Studies and the Bachelor of Environmental Studies.Justice
Justice, in its broadest context, includes both the attainment of that which is just and the philosophical discussion of that which is just. The concept of justice is based on numerous fields, and many differing viewpoints and perspectives including the concepts of moral correctness based on ethics, rationality, law, religion, equity and fairness. Often, the general discussion of justice is divided into the realm of social justice as found in philosophy, theology and religion, and, procedural justice as found in the study and application of the law.
The concept of justice differs in every culture. Early theories of justice were set out by the Ancient Greek philosophers Plato in his work The Republic, and Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics. Throughout history various theories have been established. Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice issues from God. In the 1600s, theorists like John Locke argued for the theory of natural law. Thinkers in the social contract tradition argued that justice is derived from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned. In the 1800s, utilitarian thinkers including John Stuart Mill argued that justice is what has the best consequences. Theories of distributive justice concern what is distributed, between whom they are to be distributed, and what is the proper distribution. Egalitarians argued that justice can only exist within the coordinates of equality. John Rawls used a social contract argument to show that justice, and especially distributive justice, is a form of fairness. Property rights theorists (like Robert Nozick) also take a consequentialist view of distributive justice and argue that property rights-based justice maximizes the overall wealth of an economic system. Theories of retributive justice are concerned with punishment for wrongdoing. Restorative justice (also sometimes called "reparative justice") is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of victims and offenders.Justice Party (United States)
The Justice Party USA is a political party in the United States. It was organized in November 2011 by a group of political activists including former mayor of Salt Lake City Rocky Anderson as an alternative to what he saw as a duopoly of the two major political parties. One of the major goals of the Justice Party is removing corporate influence and other concentrated wealth from politics.Malaysian Social Justice Party
Malaysian Social Justice Party or (Malay: Parti Keadilan Masyarakat Malaysia) (PEKEMAS) was a former party formed by Tan Chee Khoon and Syed Hussein Alatas in 1972. On 19 July 1974, Parti Marhaen Malaysia merged with the party. The party was dissolved in 1982.Martha Nussbaum
Martha Craven Nussbaum (born 1947) is an American philosopher and the current Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, where she is jointly appointed in the law school and the philosophy department. She has a particular interest in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, political philosophy, feminism, and ethics, including animal rights. She also holds associate appointments in classics, divinity, and political science, is a member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a board member of the Human Rights Program. She previously taught at Harvard and Brown.Nussbaum is the author of a number of books, including The Fragility of Goodness (1986), Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (1997), Sex and Social Justice (1998), Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law (2004), Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (2006), and From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law (2010). She received the 2016 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy and the 2018 Berggruen Prize.Ministry of Labor and Social Justice (Romania)
The Ministry of Labor and Social Justice of Romania (Romanian: Ministerul Muncii si Justitiei Sociale) is one of the fifteen ministries of the Government of Romania.
The current Minister is Lia Olguța Vasilescu.Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is a Government of India ministry. It is responsible for welfare, social justice and empowerment of disadvantaged and marginalised sections of society, including scheduled castes (SC), Other Backward Classes (OBC), the disabled, the elderly, and the victims of drug abuse. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is responsible for the welfare of scheduled tribes (ST).
The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment holds cabinet rank as a member of the Council of Ministers. The current minister is Thawar Chand Gehlot, who is assisted by a Minister of State, Vijay Sampla, Krishan Pal Gujjar and Ramdas Athavale.Progressivism
Progressivism is the support for or advocacy for improvement of society by reform. As a philosophy, it is based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition.
The meanings of progressivism have varied over time and from different perspectives. Progressivism became highly significant during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, out of the belief that Europe was demonstrating that societies could progress in civility from uncivilized conditions to civilization through strengthening the basis of empirical knowledge as the foundation of society. Figures of the Enlightenment believed that progress had universal application to all societies and that these ideas would spread across the world from Europe.The contemporary common political conception of progressivism in the culture of the Western world emerged from the vast social changes brought about by industrialization in the Western world in the late-19th century. Progressives in the early-20th century took the view that progress was being stifled by vast economic inequality between the rich and the poor; minimally regulated laissez-faire capitalism with monopolistic corporations; and intense and often violent conflict between workers and capitalists, thus claiming that measures were needed to address these problems. Early-20th century progressivism was also tied to eugenics and the temperance movement. Contemporary progressives promote public policies that they believe will lead to positive social change.Social Justice Coalition (South Africa)
For the past seven years, the Social Justice Coalition ("the SJC") has worked to advance the constitutional rights to life, dignity, equality, freedom and safety for all people, but especially those living in informal settlements across South Africa. While these rights are protected and promoted by our constitution, people do not feel them in their every day lives. Founded in 2008, the SJC is a membership-based social movement made up of 12 branches, located mainly in informal settlements across Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Our campaigns are based on ongoing research, education, and advocacy and divided across two programmes. The Local Government Programme leads the work on sanitation, budgets, and urban land. The Safety and Justice Programme is focused on policing and the criminal justice system.Social Justice Party (Egypt)
The Social Justice Party is a democratic and progressive political party in Egypt.Social justice warrior
Social justice warrior (SJW) is a pejorative term for an individual who promotes socially progressive views, including feminism, civil rights, and multiculturalism, as well as identity politics. The accusation that somebody is an SJW carries implications that they are pursuing personal validation rather than any deep-seated conviction, and engaging in disingenuous arguments.The phrase originated in the late 20th century as a neutral or positive term for people engaged in social justice activism. In 2011, when the term first appeared on Twitter, it changed from a primarily positive term to an overwhelmingly negative one. During the Gamergate controversy, the negative connotation gained increased use, and was particularly aimed at those espousing views adhering to social liberalism, cultural inclusivity, or feminism, as well as views deemed to be politically correct.The term has entered popular culture, including a parody role-playing video game, Social Justice Warriors, released in 2014.Straight ally
A straight ally or heterosexual ally is a heterosexual and cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Despite this, some people who meet this definition do not identify themselves as straight allies. A straight ally believes that LGBT people face discrimination and thus are socially and economically disadvantaged. They aim to use their position as heterosexual or cisgender individuals in a society focused on heteronormativity to fight homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.Most LGBT organizations have straight members involved; others actively encourage straight participation. A gay–straight alliance is a student-run club that brings together LGBT and straight students to create a platform for activism to fight homophobia and transphobia. There are also some groups that unite the LGBT community to work together with straight allies. Founded in 1973, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the original straight ally organization, started by Jeanne Manford, mother of the Straight Ally movement. Based in the United States, PFLAG unites parents, families, friends, and straight allies with the LGBT community to move equality forward for LGBT people. In 2007, the organization launched a new project, Straight for Equality to help more straight allies become engaged in the LGBT movement in the workplace, healthcare, and now in faith communities. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is another organization specifically formed to group allies of this cause.Some children of LGBT couples are straight allies, notably Iowan Zach Wahls, the son of two lesbians, though he has expressed a different view of his relationship to the LGBT community:
To be clear, I don't consider myself an ally. I might be [a] straight cisgender man, but in my mind, I am a member of the LGBT community. I know the last thing that anyone wants is to add another letter to the acronym, but we need to make sure as a movement we're making a place for what we call "queer-spawn" to function and to be part of the community. Because even though I'm not gay, I do know what its like to be hated for who I am. And I do know what its like to be in the closet, and like every other member of the LGBT community, I did not have a choice in this. I was born into this movement.
Straight allies may receive criticism for a variety of reasons. For example, some believe that straight allies are unable to step outside their own heteronormative world to advocate. Straight allies are also criticized for using LGBTQ advocacy as a means to gain popularity and status.Women's studies
Women's studies is an academic field that draws on feminist and interdisciplinary methods in order to place women’s lives and experiences at the center of study, while examining social and cultural constructs of gender; systems of privilege and oppression; and the relationships between power and gender as they intersect with other identities and social locations such as race, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, and disability.Popular theories within the field of women's studies include feminist theory, standpoint theory, intersectionality, multiculturalism, transnational feminism, social justice, affect studies, agency, biopolitics, materialisms, and embodiment. Research practices and methodologies associated with women's studies include ethnography, autoethnography, focus groups, surveys, community-based research, discourse analysis, and reading practices associated with critical theory, post-structuralism, and queer theory. The field researches and critiques societal norms of gender, race, class, sexuality, and other social inequalities.
Women's studies is closely related to the fields of gender studies, feminist studies, and sexuality studies, and more broadly related to the fields of cultural studies, ethnic studies, and African-American studies. Women's studies courses are offered in over seven hundred institutions in the United States, and globally in more than forty countries.
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Types of justice