CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The literature on distributive justice has established that individuals judge whether or not social goods are distributed justly primarily on three criteria: guaranteeing basic needs for all, recognizing individual merit, and reducing (income) inequality. A recent study byMichel Forsé and Maxime Parodi(2006) has shown that the three criteria of justice are not incompatible but complementary. They can be combined to form particular hierarchical orders in order to measure the consensus. Yet, no empirical consensus exists without dissension. What needs to be studied is what the different hierarchical orderings of the principles of justice reveal about dissension regarding distributive justice. We aim at objectifying the dissension by developing “justice profiles” which correspond to the different ways of articulating the criteria of justice. The results of our analysis of the European Values Study support the usefulness of justice profiles as an analytical concept to measure both consensus and dissension regarding distributive justice. Furthermore, a principal component analysis shows that the moral reasoning that each justice profile demonstrates structures ideological and political beliefs in a highly coherent manner.

  • Social justice
  • equality
  • merit
  • need
  • consensus
  • dissension
  • economic opinions
  • France
  • political attitudes
  • empirical theory
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