Welfare and Justice

Ólafur Páll Jónsson

Abstract



Any tenable measure of welfare must take justice into account. Welfare improves with more justice even if access to material goods becomes more limited. Since justice does not only affect people living at the same time but also future generations, any measure of welfare must be sensitive to the sustainability of society. This is a radical conclusion for Icelandic society at the edge of the 21st century, a society that is among the most unsustainable in the world. Perhaps the greatest threat to acceptable welfare in Iceland at the dawn of the 21st century is the fact that ordinary life relies on serious infringements of the rights of others.

Keywords


Welfare; justice; sustainability; John Rawls; Amartya Sen.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13177/irpa.a.2012.8.1.10

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