Conservatism and Social Justice

Authored by: David Stoesz

Routledge International Handbook of Social Justice

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415620437
eBook ISBN: 9781315857534
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934011

10.4324/9781315857534.ch10

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Abstract

Conservatism, an ideology holding the primacy of property rights, the private sector, and individual liberty, is congruent with social justice insofar as these are the basis for modern societies that have provided unprecedented prosperity to their citizens. 1 Conceptually, social justice and conservatism are comparably ambiguous, the former referring to the equal distribution of rights, benefits, and opportunities in order to build social solidarity, the latter referring to political preferences that reinforce stability and hence, the status quo. Achieving social justice has proven elusive, leaving one scholar to liken it to “the quest for the Holy Grail” (Barusch, 2006, p. 22). The relationship between conservatism and social justice is not only contextual with respect to political economy but fluid over time.

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