Global Justice Movements: Past, Present, and Future

  • Lauren Langman
  • Tova Benski


The concerns with social justice have informed most of the world religions as well as philosophical systems since antiquity. Most such concerns have consisted of debates over the definition of social justice and how states, groups, and individuals should act. But there has been little attention paid to the social factors that determine what constitutes justice and how it might be attained. Such concerns with justice, especially claims of subordinate groups for freedom, agency, respect, recognition, and/or dignity, have long been intertwined with the question of human rights especially since the Magna Carta placed limits on royal power to grant other nobles certain rights. For our purposes, part and parcel of the Enlightenment was its claims that human beings, as such, have certain basic rights. For John Locke, “natural law” entitled all men (sic) to freedom and property. To be sure, his claims were embraced by the rising bourgeois classes that promised life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, egalité, liberté, fraternité. The realization of these values, qua the basis of justice, often required violent revolutions as in the 13 American colonies, or France.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Langman
    • 1
  • Tova Benski
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyLoyola University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.School of Social Sciences, The College of ManagementRishon LeziyonIsrael

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