Concept of Social Justice

13 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2015

Date Written: March 17, 2015

Abstract

The concept of social justice is a revolutionary concept which provides meaning and significance to life and makes the rule of law dynamic. When Indian society seeks to meet the challenge of socio-economic inequality by its legislation and with the assistance of the rule of law, it seeks to achieve economic justice without any violent conflict. The ideal of a welfare state postulates unceasing pursuit of the doctrine of social justice. That is the significance and importance of the concept of social justice in the Indian context of today. Justice is the virtue we practice by giving people what is due them. Therefore, there is a problem of assignability when we consider an unjust social order: What is due from an individual beneficiary of that order to an individual victim? That question is answered by the concept of social justice: What all of us individually owe to each individual victim of the institutions now in place is our best efforts to reform those institutions. The first half of this paper analyzes the traditional arguments for and the conservative arguments against social justice as the answer to this problem of assignability. Within that framework, it highlights the need for combating and remedying injustices in society even though different, unknown, or more difficult problems may arise from doing so. This paper also describes Hayek’s theory of social justice. The trouble with “social justice” begins with the very meaning of the term. Hayek points out that whole books and treatises have been written about social justice without ever offering a definition of it. It is allowed to float in the air as if everyone will recognize an instance of it when it appears. This vagueness seems indispensable. The concept of social justice has become a common part of the political lexicon in recent years, with New Labour identifying it as a key goal of its social strategy.

Keywords: justice, significance, legislation

Suggested Citation

Prakash, Rajat, Concept of Social Justice (March 17, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2589869 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2589869

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