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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that the human essence involves not only the desire to achieve justice but also the capacity to develop a consensus about what is just. It shows how justice provides the building blocks for cooperation and enhances people’s capacity to cooperate successfully. The chapter examines the role of justice in facilitating conflict management; in legitimating authorities as conflict managers, focusing on how a neutral authority can define the meaning of a fair outcome; and in helping social institutions to function as organizers of human activity. It also considers social identity, rule breaking, the notion of fairness, and the idea that people’s motivation to protect the group is part of core “human essence.” Finally, it explores the argument that justice is useful when it enables authorities to make and gain acceptance for agreements that resolve conflicts and enable cooperative relationships.

Keywords: authority, conflict management, consensus, cooperation, fairness, justice, motivation, relationships, rule breaking, social identity

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