Social Justice Research

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 85–111 | Cite as

Contributive Justice: An Exploration of a Wider Provision of Meaningful Work

  • Cristian Timmermann


Extreme inequality of opportunity leads to a number of social tensions, inefficiencies and injustices. One issue of increasing concern is the effect inequality is having on people’s fair chances of attaining meaningful work, thus limiting opportunities to make a significant positive contribution to society and reducing the chances of living a flourishing life and developing their potential. On a global scale, we can observe an increasingly uneven provision of meaningful work, raising a series of ethical concerns that need detailed examination. The aim of this article is to explore the potential of a normative framework based upon the idea of contributive justice to defend a fairer provision of meaningful work.


Labour conditions Capabilities Deskilling Human flourishing Social justice Knowledge economy Poverty 



I would like to thank the participants at workshops in Mexico City, Budapest and Campinas, Isabella Trifan, Georges Félix, the journal’s editor and the anonymous reviewers for valuable feedback and Michael Pockley also for careful language editing on earlier versions of this article.


This study was funded by a postdoctoral fellowship UNAM-DGAPA [National Autonomous University of Mexico, no grant numbers are given] and a postdoctoral fellowship by FONDECYT/CONICYT No. 3170068.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios en BioéticaUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Instituto de Estudios InternacionalesUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile

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