Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Six questions about the new minor ‘The (un)just society’

The new minor ‘The (un)just society’ will start in September 2024. This interdisciplinary minor will provide an in-depth and applied view of social justice in the Netherlands. We asked Judi Mesman some questions about this new minor.

Judi Mesman

What is social (in)justice?

Mesman: ‘Social justice refers to the idea that every human being is entitled to and has access to basic needs such as individual freedom, safety, education and food security. Article 1 of the Constitution also focuses on social justice: the right to equal treatment in equal cases and protection against discrimination.

Examples of social injustice that have been in the news recently are underpayment of parcel deliverymen, discrimination in the checking of secondary vocational education students by DUO, differences between municipalities in youth care provision and the lack of affordable social housing for rent.’ 

Why did you develop this minor?

‘Several study programmes address issues of social justice, but usually from one disciplinary perspective, such as law, or specifically on one aspect of it, like colonial history. We want to offer a broader approach to social justice, in which cross-links are made between different disciplines, domains and perspectives.

In doing so, we think it is important to link this specifically to the Dutch context, considering the fact that we actually know too little about it because of the emphasis on injustice elsewhere in the world. Of course, we can learn from international knowledge, but we have to be able to translate it properly to the Dutch situation. We also want students to see the value of different kinds of knowledge. That is why we will have not only scientists but also experts from the social domain in the teaching team. They know what (in)justice looks like in practice.’ 

This minor is offered in Dutch. Read the full interview with Judi Mesman on the Dutch page

This website uses cookies.  More information.