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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Empirische Sozialforschung

TMJA - Theory and Methods of Justice Analysis

In studying the operation of the sense of justice, justice researchers address four central questions:

  1. What do individuals and collectivities regard as just, and why?
  2. How do ideas about what is just shape determination of actual situations?
  3. What is the magnitude of the perceived injustice associated with given departures from perfect justice?
  4. What are the behavioral and social consequences of perceived injustice?

Each of the four central questions may be addressed via both theoretical and empirical approaches, and further, justice analyses may be tailored to particular domains. For example, studies of the just wage and of the just society may each use distinctive models and methods, as may analyses of just wars, just procedures, and justice ideologies. Accordingly, the scientific study of justice leads to a family of theories, a portifolio of empirical research, and a family of methods for both theoretical and empirical justice analysis. The theories in the family of theories may refer to completely different worlds or use sharply different organizing ideas, and so, too, the empirical research and the methods in the family of theoretical and empirical methods. The purpose of this collaborative project is to begin systematically to collect the methods that justice researchers use in both the theoretical and the empirical analysis of justice, and to form ideas about how the different objects of study relate in order to make progress towards a comprehensive theory of justice.

Träger: U.S. National Science Foundation, 1994-1997
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, 1991-2002
Volkswagen-Stiftung, 1998-2003
Projektleiter: Bernd Wegener
Guillermina Jasso (New York University)
Telefon: 030-2093-4434, 001-212-998-8368
Email: wegener@empisoz.de


  • Jasso, Guillermina, and Nura Resh. Exploring the Sense of Justice about Grades. European Sociological Review 18: 333-351, 2003.
  • Soziale Gerechtigkeit (PDF Download)Wegener, Bernd. Soziale Gerechtigkeit. Pp. 550-553 in Martin Greifenhagen and Sylvia Greifenhagen (eds.), Handwörterbuch zur politischen Kultur der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2002.
  • Wegener, Bernd. Solidarity, Justice, and Social Change: Germany's Ten Years of Unification. Pp. 207-233 in D. Pollack, J. Jacobs, O. Müller and G. Pickel (eds.), Political Culture in Post-Communist Europe. Attitudes in New Democracies. Ashgate: Aldershot, 2003.
  • Jasso, Guillermina. Formal Theory. Pp. 37-68 in Jonathan H. Turner (ed.), Handbook of Sociological Theory. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, 2001.
  • Jasso, Guillermina. Comparison Theory. Pp. 669-698 in Jonathan H. Turner (ed.), Handbook of Sociological Theory. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, 2001.
  • Jasso, Guillermina. Rule-Finding about Rule-Making: Comparison Processes and the Making of Norms. Pp. 348-393 in Michael Hechter and Karl-Dieter Opp (eds.), Social Norms. New York, New York: Russell Sage, 2001.
  • Wegener, Bernd. Ist soziale Gerechtigkeit das, was die Leute dafür halten? Zum Verhältnis von normativer und empirischer Gerechtigkeitsforschung. Pp. 123-64 in P. Koller (ed.), Gerechtigkeit. Ihre Bedeutung im politischen Diskurs der Gegenwart. Wien: Passagen Verlag, 2001.
  • Jasso, Guillermina. Some of Robert K. Merton's Contributions to Justice Theory. Sociological Theory 18: 331-339, 2000.
  • Justice Gap (PDF Downlad) Verwiebe, Roland, and Bernd Wegener. Social Inequality and the Perceived Justice Gap. Social Justice Research 13: 123-49, 2000.
  • Justice Index (PDF Downlad) Jasso, Guillermina. Trends in the Experience of Injustice: Justice Indexes About Earnings in Six Societies, 1991-1996. Social Justice Research 13: 101-21, 2000.
  • Belohnungs- und PrinzipiengerechtigkeitWegener, Bernd. Belohnungs- und Prinzipiengerechtigkeit. Die zwei Welten der empirischen Gerechtigkeitsforschung. Pp. 167-214 in Ulrich Druwe and Volker Kurz (eds.), Politische Gerechtigkeit. Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 1999.
  • Jasso, Guillermina. How Much Injustice Is There in the World? Two New Justice Indexes. American Sociological Review 64: 133-68, 1999.
  • Jasso, Guillermina, and Murray Webster, Jr. Assessing the Gender Gap in Just Earnings and Its Underlying Mechanisms. Social Psychology Quarterly 62: 367-380, 1999.
  • Jasso, Guillermina, and Bernd Wegener. Gender and Country Differences in the Sense of Justice: Justice Evaluation, Gender Earnings Gap, and Earnings Functions in Thirteen Countries. Pp. 94-116 in W. Arts and L. Halman (eds.), New Directions in Quantitative Comparative Sociology. Leiden/Bosten: Brill, 1999.
  • Jasso, Guillermina. Studying Justice: Cross-Country Data for Empirical Justice Analysis. Social Justice Research 11: 193-209, 1998.
  • Jasso, Guillermina. Exploring the Justice of Punishments: Framing, Expressiveness, and the Just Prison Sentence. Social Justice Research 11: 397-422, 1998.
  • Jasso, Guillermina, and Bernd Wegener. Methods for Empirical Justice Analysis. Part 1. Framework, Models, and Quantities. Social Justice Research 10: 393-430, 1997.


  • Jasso, Guillermina. Analyzing the Exact Relations Between Inequality and Justice. To be presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Chicago, Illinois, August 2002.
  • Jasso, Guillermina. Deriving Implications of Justice Theory and Status Theory for Migration Phenomena. To be presented at the quadrennial meeting of the International Sociological Association, Brisbane, Australia, July 2002.
  • Jasso, Guillermina, and Eva M. Meyersson Milgrom. Distributive Justice and CEO Compensation. To be presented at the quadrennial meeting of the International Sociological Association, Brisbane, Australia, July 2002.
  • Jasso, Guillermina, and Bernd Wegener. Methods for Empirical Justice Analysis: Part 2. Basic Research Designs and Analytic Procedures. To be presented at the IXth International Social Justice Conference, University of Skövde, Sweden, June 2002.
  • Wegener, Bernd. Wieviel Gerechtigkeit gibt es in den Transformationsländern? Unpublished Manuscript, University of Frankfurt/Oder, February 1999.
  • Jasso, Guillermina, and Bernd Wegener. New Methods for Justice Analysis. Paper prepared for presentation at the Winter Meeting of the Methodology Section of the American Sociological Association, Charleston, South Carolina, February 1996.
  • Jasso, Guillermina, and Bernd Wegener. A Revised Framework for the Study of Justice, With New Theoretical Results on the Process by Which Ideas of Justice Shape the Actual Reward. Unpublished Manuscript. New York University, New York 1995.