INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THEORY

5. Social Justice

Social justice on the other hand deals with distribution of social goods- wealth, income, opportunity, privileges, etc. amongst the individuals in a society. John T. Jost and Aaron 5 Institute of lifelong Learning, University of Delhi Kay have pointed out three important elements of social justice. First it seeks to allocate burdens and benefits of society by applying a set of principle. Secondly, rights, liberty and entitlement of individuals and groups are preserved. And thirdly, individuals are treated with dignity and respect both by the state and their fellow beings. (Jost and Kay, 2010: 1122.) Any theory of social justice is expected to deal with at least one of the above elements. Social justice thus stands for morally defensible distribution of benefits or rewards in society. In other words, it deals with who should get what. For the reason, it may be identifiable with distributive justice. Social justice either pursues egalitarianism or inequality but ultimate aim is to rectify social injustice. It also aims to enable individuals to develop best of their potential in a society. However, an essential difference exists among the scholars in respect to their basis of distribution of social goods. Three basic principles of distribution can be identifiable. They are principles of needs, rights and deserts.