Conception of Justice from Rawls to Sen to the Present

  • Hossein Askari
  • Abbas Mirakhor
Part of the Political Economy of Islam book series (PEoI)


Rawls had a number of problems with Utilitarianism, mainly that justice should be focused on freedom and not on happiness. Individuals choosing under the Veil of Ignorance would select social and economic inequalities so that they are both (a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged, and (b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity. But the Rawlsian solution can hardly be called “just” as it could include a society where some wallow in grotesque wealth while others barely exist. Post Rawls, Sen argues that it is the individual agency (the capacity for human beings to make choices and to impose those choices on the world) and social arrangements that, deeply complementing each other, determine the extent to which human problems and deprivations can be successfully addressed.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossein Askari
    • 1
  • Abbas Mirakhor
    • 2
  1. 1.George Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.INCEIFKuala LumpurMalaysia

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