Social Justice


We often talk about social justice, but have you ever stopped to think about what that actually means? Drawing on a dictionary definition, social justice can be understood as “justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges within a society”.

Synonymous with equality, we can see social justice is present when people don’t face barriers because of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.

Sound familiar? Social justice, much like positive peace, refers to a plethora of rights, attitudes and structures that, when combined, provide the basis for human development and wellbeing. The various elements that make up social justice are both interdependent and mutually reinforcing, they operate as a system.

Our research into positive peace is very similar. The Pillars of Peace provides a statistical assessment of the attitudes, institutions and structures that underpin peaceful societies. Essentially, it describes what makes a society peaceful.

If we put the Pillars of Peace under a microscope we can see that three of these Pillars are particularly pertinent for social justice: equitable distribution of resources, acceptance of the rights of others and high levels of human capital.

For more on the Pillars of Peace, download the full report.

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Pillars of Peace

Our latest research report, the Pillars of Peace, explores the attitudes and institutions that underpin peaceful societies.


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Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.

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