Social Justice Research

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 153–173 | Cite as

Equality, fairness, and social conflict

  • David M. Messick


There are three generic problems that arise in the use of the concept of equality as a principle of fairness. These problems concern (i) determining when equality is appropriate as opposed to some other principle, (ii) deciding how equality is to be operationalized, and (iii) determining how to implement equality. The proposal is made that these intrapersonal decision conflicts are mirrored by social conflicts when multiple interests are involved. This way of looking at social conflicts also suggests some novel ways to approach conflict resolution.

Key Words

fairness equality conflict resolution justice 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Messick
    • 1
  1. 1.J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of ManagementNorthwestern UniversityEvanston

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