publication . Article . 2014

Theories of distributive justice and post-apartheid South Africa

Knight, Carl;
Open Access English
  • Published: 01 Jan 2014
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Country: United Kingdom
Abstract
South Africa is a highly distributively unequal country, and its inequality continues to be largely along racial lines. Such circumstances call for assessment from the perspective of contemporary theories of distributive justice. Three such theories—Rawlsian justice, utilitarianism, and luck egalitarianism—are described and applied. Rawls' difference principle recommends that the worst off be made as well as they can be, a standard which South Africa clearly falls short of. Utilitarianism recommends the maximization of overall societal well-being, a goal which South Africa again fails to achieve given its severe inequality and the fact of the diminishing margina...
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