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The second half of the 20th century has been an exceptionally fertile period for theories of justice. This first publication in English of Serge-Christophe Kolm's classic work provides an overview of his far-reaching vision of distributive justice. Kolm derives justice from considerations of rationality. Justice cannot be defined by one principle or one set of a few principles that is all encompassing. It has the general form of an equality of individuals' liberties in a broad sense, with different applications, and specific adjustments when several liberties conflict or when everybody prefers another outcome.;In this seminal book Kolm describes the theory of justice and presents and evaluates each of the various modern theories, principles, or criteria of justice: its salient features and problems, how it compares with other theories, the solutions it offers to social and distributive problems, and its main consequences. Kolm shows how some theories complement each other, how others are unworkable, and how others could be rescued. The result is an intensive introduction to the general theory of justice for economists and noneconomists alike.;The introduction and conclusions describe the basic concepts, properties, distinctions and methods of justice. Other chapters take up act- and process-freedom; equalities, inequality, misery and needs; liberty, morals and the state; and utilitarianisms and social choice.