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Book Review, Social Justice and Development

BookReview, Social Justice and Development

BookReview, Social Justice and Development

Accordingto Farmer (2003), social justice is the most significant interventionto poverty compared to development. In an agreement to Farmer’sargument, having social justice is the foundation for solving theproblem of poverty a foundation that will give a just environmentfor development. This is because the current social-economic problemsfacing poor countries are all caused by social injustices. However,in disagreement with Farmer, development is also as important tool tothe recovery of these countries despite being a secondaryintervention. But it is important to note that the main problem isthat countries are considering development as the main interventionto poverty and health problems.

Tosolve a problem, it is important to get the solution to the rootcause and not treating symptoms. In this case, poverty and worldhealth problems are just the symptoms of social injustices that areprevalent in the developing regions. Therefore, intervention byupholding social justice will be the most appropriate solution. Asone of the main causes of inequality and poverty, lack social justicehas contributed to a situation of high development in some regions atthe expense of other regions (Farmer,2003).This leads to poor nutrition, poor health and poor infrastructure inmany regions that are associated to these regions while other regionsenjoy such developments

Socio-economicinjustice has resulted to the domination of many developing regionsby a few wealthy individuals at the expense of majority poor (Farmer,2003).This situation impacts on the distribution of development projects inthe regions and provision of health services and other amenities.This means that even the intervention programs of development arespread with the same ratio and trend. Therefore, intervention bydevelopment drives these regions towards further poverty levels sincethe distribution will favor the already developed regions. Inaddition, the main element of development is equality in thedistribution of income and not in the level of economic growth, anaspect that can only exist through social justice.

Lackof development is not the main cause of the current situation ofworld poverty or poor health standards. The cause is thedistribution, since the developments that are being introduces asintervention already exist in the affected countries. Therefore, anyintervention should not be based on short-term charity but onlong-term social justice and promoting equal socio-economic policies.Therefore, such intervention strategies should focus on thegovernance of the affected regions and not necessarily thedevelopment agenda. By changing the focus and perspective of thesocio-political structures of the leaders in these regions,development will be inevitable. This is because these leaders willfocus on equalizing these regions and not propagate discrimination.

Inagreement with Farmer, social justice should be given preference tosolve poverty. However, development is also an intervention tool thatshould follow social justice. With the current challenge of increasedworld poverty, the problem is not the persistent poverty but apersistent trend of social injustice. This is because poverty isincreasing as the world economy is increasing, all with high rates.Both rich and poor countries have poverty levels an aspect thatdescribes the extent of social injustice (Farmer,2003).Development is a symptom of social injustice, which makes developmentinterventions a secondary solution. Therefore, poverty and worldhealth problems should be solved by intervention through socialjustice other than development.


Farmer,P. (2003). Health,Healing,and Social Justice. California:University of California Press