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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Modern Theories of Justice

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Serge-Christophe KolmProfessor and Director, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris, France

ISBN13: 9780262112086
ISBN: 0262112086
Published: May 1996
Publisher: The MIT Press Ltd
Format: Hardback
Price: £41.95

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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.

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Part 1 Introduction - justice and justification: justice as reason in society - an overview - presentation, the reason of justice, the essential equalities of liberties, global distributive justice, reason and classical solutions, organization of content, a note on references; justice, liberty, and equality - the nature and operation of distributive justice, reduction to nonrivalry, why equality? equality as minimal irrationality, liberties, the structure of means and ends; the general structure of justice - the just allocation of the human resources, the field of modern theories of justice, synoptic tables.
Part 2 Act- and process-freedom: Act-freedom - freedom to act, process-freedom, aim-constraint; Full process liberalism and liberal social contracts.
Part 3 Equalities: second-best justice, human resources, and income justice - presentation, second-best justice, distributive justice and the human resource; equal liberty and maximum - justice and equity - outline, 'equity' and equal liberty, full justice and practical justice; equal liberties and maximin - fairness from ignorance - two sources of morals, the principles, logical difficulties with the principles, the original position, Rawls and Kant, individuals' motivations, culture, pluralism, and toleration; equalities and liberties - issues of justice, basic principles and pure theories and distributive justice, free interaction from equality, the human resources, the self, and self-accountability, specific human resourcism and 'fundamental insurance', responsibility, equality of opportunities, theories of exploitation, equal sharing of natural resources, productive resourcism, justice and envy, maximin in liberty, other criteria, the egalitarian equivalent.
Part 4 Inequalities, needs and misery: pure distributive justice - comparing and measuring unjust inequalities - a general overview of the topics, benevolence and rectifiance, covariations, concentration, evaluation functions, equal equivalent, measures and indexes, averaging and dispatching, linear or affine transformations, preferences for mixtures and averages, higher orders, variables populations, multidimensional inequalities, conclusion; needs and misery - the economics of poverty and the poverty of economics, needs, measuring poverty - the 'progressive deficit' or 'weighted head count'.
Part 5 Liberties, morals, and the state: freedom, morals, market failures, and the state - the social theories of process-freedom, the two public economics; Hayek and Friedman - free market and a minimal-plus state. (Part contents).