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Social justice and public policy Seeking fairness in diverse societies

Tania Burchardt, Gary Craig and David Gordon (eds)
Policy Press (June 2008)

Social justice and public policy: seeking fairness in diverse societiesSocial justice is a contested term, incorporated into the language of widely differing political positions. Those on the left argue that it requires intervention from the state to ensure equality, at least of opportunity; those on the right believe that it can be underpinned by the economics of the market place with little or no state intervention. To date, political philosophers have made relatively few serious attempts to explain how a theory of social justice translates into public policy.

This important book, drawing on international experience and a distinguished panel of political philosophers and social scientists, addresses what the meaning of social justice is, and how it translates into the everyday concerns of public and social policy, in the context of both multiculturalism and globalisation.

  • Dr Tania Burchardt is senior research fellow at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE
  • Professor Gary Craig is professor of Social Justice at the University of Hull and associate director of the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation
  • Professor David Gordon is professor of Social Justice at the University of Bristol and director of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research


'Too often, debates concerning social justice neglect the gap between political philosophy and policy studies. As both an overview of, and an intervention into, those debates this timely book bridges that gap.'
Dr Tony Fitzpatrick, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham

'An impressive collection of uniformly high-quality essays throwing new light on some of the important aspects of social justice. Its attempt to marry theoretical and policy perspectives, and to combine analytical rigour with moral commitment, adds greatly to its value.'
Bhikhu Parekh, professor of Political Philosophy, University of Westminster