Simon Maxwell

Global social justice as a new focus for development policy?

Global social justice as a new focus for development policy?, ODIOverseas Development Institute (London) Opinion 96, March 2008

Douglas Alexander recently described climate change as an issue of ‘global social justice’. How does this concept relate to other values espoused by ministers and by the international community, and what are the implications for policy and programming?

Start with ‘social justice’, as opposed to ‘global social justice’. David Miller, from Nuffield College, Oxford, has identified four ‘principles’ of social justice: equal citizenship; entitlement to a social minimum; equality of opportunity; and fair distribution.

In development, our starting point would probably be the work of Amartya Sen and the human development paradigm his work inspired. The centrality of rights and freedom in Sen’s work links individual entitlements to wider conceptions of justice. In this vision, individuals and collectivities (communities, governments, businesses) share the obligation to deliver human rights................. (see link in title for full article)

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