Social justice: a democratic issue

The market mechanism excludes the most disadvantaged members of society, young people, the elderly, people with foreign origins, women, etc. It leaves very little place for social justice mechanisms which would allow all those excluded to assert their rights and benefit from an equitable distribution of wealth. The right to housing, access to land, food and healthcare, finding or returning to work, social cohesion; the democratic issues thrown up by these questions – and many others depending on whether you are in the North or South – cannot be the prerogative of a single authority imposing its solutions from above or a predatory market mechanism. The challenge, as laid out in the ADELS manifesto, is to “reinvent democracy rooted in real citizen participation in formulating collective choices and assessing public policies, with the focus on the principles of cooperation, pooling, solidarity and the construction of social compromises.”

Grouped and cooperative housing, collective land acquisition solutions, social grocery stores, short circuits, childcare and homecare services, integration through work, and savings and consumer cooperatives are all social justice solutions rooted in the mechanisms of reciprocity, cooperation and solidarity. Based on democratic, or even participatory, governance practices, they empower people and can give them the capacity to question elected representatives and co-construct public policies. However, social justice is only meaningful when tied to economic justice as well as environmental justice, which seeks to solve the environmental conflicts that affect the same vulnerable people.

8 publications

A thesis

6 Videos

3 pedagogical tools

15 case studies

29 Analyses/working papers/articles

2 Charter/Manifesto

3 public contributions

40 articles

An organization RIPESS & SDGs

5 RIPESS Initiatives & Covid