Our nation’s constitution is imbued with a deep spirit of social justice. Based on the principle of furthering the people’s well-being and implementing social justice, the social justice it seeks is a type of substantive equality. The constitution is not aimed at simply prohibiting unreasonable differential treatment; rather, it seeks to proactively facilitate the elimination or reduction of such inequality in the country.
Yet, how does this noble aim play out in reality? The wealth gap continues to widen, citizens are subject to an unfair tax system, and educational resources are allocated unevenly. Why is there such an enormous divide between the way things are and the way things should be for achieving a welfare state? How do we bridge this gap to bring about social justice and realize the ideal of a welfare state?
The book, Searching for the Welfare State: Social Justice Theory and Its Institutional Implementation, which addresses these issues in depth was published by NTU Press in January. The book’s editor, Tzong-Li Hsu, serves as the president of Taiwan’s Judicial Yuan as well as an adjunct professor at the NTU College of Law. The book includes chapters by 12 public intellectuals with different areas of specialization who approach these issues from a variety of perspectives to address the institutional implementation of social justice in different areas of society.
The book covers three realms of social justice: the constitution and social justice, protecting the disadvantaged and social justice, and public policy and social justice. Moreover, the authors address the issues of social justice from three perspectives: (1) the legal foundation of the constitution of a welfare state, (2) the implementation and maintenance of protections for the disadvantaged in a welfare state, and (3) critiques of current public policy.