Handbook on Global Social Justice
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Handbook on Global Social Justice

Edited by Gary Craig

In the fifty years since Rawls seminal work A Theory of Justice, the concept has been debated with those on the political right and left advocating very different understandings. This unique global collection, written by a group of international experts, offers wide-ranging analyses of the meaning of social justice that challenge the ability of the market to provide social justice for all. The Handbook also looks at how the theory of social justice informs practice within a range of occupations or welfare divisions.
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Chapter 12: Social justice perspectives in South Africa’s struggle for social transformation

Viviene Taylor

Abstract

This chapter reviews the meaning of social justice in the context of the post-apartheid struggle for peace, reconciliation, transformation and development in South Africa. It offers a view on how social justice can be pursued in South Africa, given its historical development and present struggles. It is clear that South Africa’s fight for freedom recognised that democratic change was necessary for improvement in the overall quality of life for all in the country, especially the historically disenfranchised majority. Political and social struggles prior to 1994 mobilised for a process of wide-scale transformation of state institutions, policies and legislation to dismantle the apartheid state and create change that would embed constitutional democracy and social justice. Two decades after coming to power, the democratically elected governments still face the need to address the shadow of apartheid’s racial history and monopoly capitalism, which continue to influence policy outcomes for the majority of citizens.

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