Fairness, Justification and Transparency

  • David Bromell


A concern for fairness appears to be a “wired” trait in humans, a universal norm and a product of both nature and nurture. Concern for fairness often begins as an emotion or intuition expressed as a moral judgment (“But that’s not fair!”). We then apply reasoning, somewhat after the fact, to justify to ourselves and to others the moral judgment we have made. Bromell shows that in everyday life, how we think about fairness depends on the context, the relationships between the parties, and time (and the passage of time). This chapter provides a framework for assessment of fair process and two approaches to the comparative assessment of fair outcomes. The proposed resolution for public leadership is to be fair. This implies practised skill in facilitating public reasoning and brokering agreements in local contexts on practicable options to make our life together fairer than it is now.


Fairness Moral reasoning Fair process Fair outcomes Public policy Public leadership 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Bromell
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Governance and Policy StudiesVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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