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Development and the Limits of Amartya Sen's The Idea of Justice

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This review article critically analyses the contribution of Amartya Sen's The Idea of Justice to development studies. On the basis of examples of unjust situations derived from Sen's writings, the article discusses the limited reach of The Idea of Justice in addressing concrete cases of injustice. It contends that remedying injustice requires an understanding of how justice is structural, which recognises that discussion of justice is inseparable from reasoning about the nature of the good society. The article concludes by pointing out The Idea of Justice's ambiguous relationship with liberalism.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Development Studies,University of Bath, BathBA2 7AY, UK

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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