Achieving Justice: Comparative Public Opinions on Income by Toril Aalberg

By Toril Aalberg

This paintings presents a comparative research of public ideals approximately social justice. What can clarify the cross-national adaptations, and if evaluations do swap through the years, why is that this so? this article might be of curiosity to these drawn to the connection among public opinion and political elite.

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Extra info for Achieving Justice: Comparative Public Opinions on Income Distribution (International Comparative Social Studies) (International Comparative Social Studies)

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Material principles often appear in the form “to each according to his merit”, “contribution”, “ability” or “need”. The normative dispute over which principle represents the only just principle of distribution is extensive, since the material principles specify which characteristics of human beings are to be treated as relevant to a determination of justice, and which irrelevant (Cohen & Greenberg 1982, 2). Rescher (1966, 1972) suggests that there are seven common material principles of distributive justice recognised today.

This very limited interpretation is of course easy to perceive, and it is correct in the sense that many of these in-between principles do attempt to include aspects of both equality and desert. Nevertheless, to place the variety of principles on one single dimension would be to ignore the diversity of different elements the various principles maintain. We have seen that the concept of distributive justice is concerned with ensuring that people should receive what they are due, and that the formal principles stress that one should distribute the good in pro-    :    37 portion to their relevant similarities and differences, and apply the same material principle in identical situations.

And finally (iii) that distribution should be proportional. The formal principle of comparative justice could thus be read as: “Treat equals equally and unequals unequally – in proportion to their relevant similarities and differences, and apply the same material principle in identical situations” (Buchanan & Mathieu 1986, 17). The material principles of distributive justice are concerned with 26   establishing what the relevant characteristics of distribution are. An imposing number of different and mutuality exclusive material principles exist.

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