Egalitarian Liberalism Revisited: On the Meaning and Justification of Social Justice by Per Sundman

Bharat Ranganathan, University of Nebraska at Omaha

This is the accepted manuscript of a book review publishe din the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, the published version is available at


Across a range of contemporary disciplines, discussions about justice abound. Despite the prevalence of these discussions, however, there is little consensus about what justice is and whether (and, if so, how) appeals to it should be made. Moreover, if the interconnectedness and pluralism that obtain in our rapidly globalizing world are taken seriously, concerns about the content, meaning, and use of justice are amplified. Against this backdrop, Per Sundman aims to explicate and evaluate one particular form of justice: egalitarian liberalism. On his definition, egalitarian liberalism is “best understood as a triune conjunction of equality of opportunity, desert and self-ownership” (10). Over the course of eight substantive chapters, Sundman labors to show how these criteria both reinforce and don’t contradict each other, aiming to clarify the meaning of social justice while considering known alternatives.