By Toril Aalberg

This paintings offers a comparative research of public ideals approximately social justice. What can clarify the cross-national adaptations, and if critiques do switch through the years, why is that this so? this article will be of curiosity to these drawn to the connection among public opinion and political elite.

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Additional info for Achieving Justice: Comparative Public Opinions on Income Distribution (International Comparative Social Studies) (International Comparative Social Studies)

Sample text

Because material principles of justice can be related in various ways to concepts of a good society and determinations of goals and ends, one cannot ascertain which properties must be considered without assuming a certain scale of values. One has to determine what is important and what is not. Different views of what the fundamental burdens and benefits of life are, how they are to be weighed, and which ones can be dealt with by social arrangements will lead to different concepts of distributive justice.

The self-interest argument does not only apply to the purely economical characteristics. Gender for instance is often claimed to be an important determinant of beliefs about income inequality and welfare state issues. The so-called “female caring nature”, as well as women’s more extensive use of the services provided by the welfare state, would create larger support for equality and redistribution among women, compared to the male population. Men on the other hand, are said to be more focused on work and business related matters, and as a consequence, they would put a larger emphasis on ideals 14   such as distribution according to effort and ability.

The next three chapters deal with attitudes towards government policies. Chapter 6 is concerned with public views on government responsibilities versus more private solutions for distributing wealth and goods among citizens. When the public reveal a strong preference for equality do they also show stronger support for egalitarian policies? How do the public respond to changes in inequality over time and are their attitudes and values adjusted accordingly? Are attitudes different from ideals, in that policy attitudes change more rapidly than ideals?

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