justice, ethical economy, philosophy of law, social choice, transcendental institutionalism


Justice is one of the concepts that are most often used in modern Ukrainian political and scientific discourse. The phenomenon of justice is complex and multifaceted and characterizes the entire system of social relations in all the diversity of its specific manifestations in the field of promoting the concept of human development. Since ancient times, justice has been one of the main subjects of scientific research by sociologists, economists, and philosophers of Western and Eastern European countries. Now, there are several interpretations of this notion. One of the most widespread is the definition of justice from the theoretical standpoint of the so-called “transcendental institutionalism”, which is the basis of the works of many famous theoreticians. Within this trend, there are competing points of view regarding approaches to the realization of justice. The concept of utilitarianism, which was widespread in the second half of the 20th century, has its adherents, in respect of the fair content of human development, even in our time.

The article defends the logical construction of justice, which is at the intersection of economic theory and moral philosophy. Based on the tradition associated with Adam Smith’s classic political economy, it is grounded on the procedure of public choice, comparison and ranking of priorities. Continuous improvement and regulation of human development processes are oppo sed to the established rigid institutional approach that underlies the contract theory. The aim of the study is to reveal justice as a concept that contains requirements for adequacy of its theoretical interpretation to the practical role regarding individuals upholding their rights. The novelty is substantiating of the constructive significance of justice as an ethical category and the proximity of its democratic procedures to the real-life problems of people, which gives it priority over other similar scientific currents and concepts of liberal democratic orientation. The method of comparative analysis of definitions of social justice in the course of its evolutionary development is applied. Tools for soft modeling of socially fair consumption of goods and services by different income groups of the population are proposed.


  1. Human development report 2011. Sustainable development and equal opportunities: A better future for everyone (2011). United Nations Development Programme. http://human-development-report-2011-russian-summary.human-development-report-2011-russian-summary [in Russian].
  2. Mamonov, I. (2013). The concept of «sustainable human development»: the managerial State administration and local self-government, 3. [in Ukrainian].
  3. Economic efficiency vs social justice: Ukraine’s development priorities at the stage of overcoming the crisis (2019). NAS of Ukraine. Section of Social Sciences and Humanities. Kyiv [in Ukrainian].
  4. Shelever, N. V. (2020). The principle of social justice in constitutional law. South Ukrainian legal journal, 3. Odesa State University of Internal Affairs. Odesa. [in Ukrainian].
  5. Bulgakov, V. V., & Bulgakova, D. V. (2012). The concept of «justice» at the historical stages of the development of society. Herald of TGU. 5(109) [in Russian].
  6. Piontkevich, L. Y. (2009). The problem of justice in social philosophy. Philosophy and society, 2 (54) [in Russian].
  7. Petrenko, M. O. (2013). Human dignity in the context of justice. State administration and local self-government, 3(18). [in Ukrainian].
  8. Smit, A. (1997). Theory of Moral Sentiments. [in Russian].
  9. Zayits ev, S. A. (1999). On the question of the concept of justice. Herald OMGU, 4. [in Russian].
  10. Friedman, M., & Hayek, F. (2003). About freedom. [in Russian].
  11. Hayek, F. A. von. (1999). Cognition, competition and freedom. Anthology of essays. [in Russian].
  12. Nozik, R. (2019). Anarchy, State and Utopia (Abstract). IRISEN. [in Russian].
  13. Rolz, Dz. (1971). Justice as Honesty. [in Russian].
  14. Rolz, Dz. (1999). Theory of justice. Part 1. Theory. Ch. 1. Justice as honesty. § 3. The main idea of the theory of justice. [in Russian].
  15. Sen, A. (2009). The Idea of Justice. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 497 р.
  16. Weidlich, W. (2009). A systematic approach to mathematical modeling in the social sciences. Moscow: Librocom [in Russian].
  17. Vugal’ter, A. L. (2007). Fundamental economics. Dynamics. Moscow: Economy [in Russian].

Author Biography

Valerii Novikov, Ptoukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Dr. Sc. (Economics), Prof.



How to Cite

Новіков, В. (2023). THE ETHICAL PRINCIPLE OF JUSTICE IN THE PROMOTION OF THE CONCEPT OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT. Demography and Social Economy, 51(1), 3–22. Retrieved from