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Michigan State University

Peace and Justice Studies: Economic Justice

Related to MSU's Program on Peace and Justice Studies


Economic justice focuses on disparities in opportunity and outcome across the economy that result in some people unfairly treated. Topics like income inequality, affirmative action, equal work for equal pay, discrimmination in employment, unemployment, poverty, taxation and access to basic human needs are entwined. Disciplines involved include political science, economics, sociology, community development, urban planning, natural resources, philosophy, and history. Like the other pages in this guide, this one attempts to point searchers to key useful and reliable sources. It does not attempt to be complete. If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact a reference librarian or the author of this page.

Key Specialized Dictionaries and Encyclopedia

These are good places to get started with background on the issue as well as identifying additional sources and experts.

Encyclopedia of the Global Economy : a Guide for Students and Researchers. (2 vols.)  HF 1358 .O28 2006

Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America - online

Equality in the Law Between Men and Women in the European Community. BUSINESS Library KJE 2942 .E68 1998

Gale Virtual Reference Library - (ONLINE) - Provides access to the full text of electronic encyclopedia articles, dictionaries and more. Click on the link above and enter your search terms such as “environmental justice” and “environmental racism”.  You can also type your search terms in the box below.

Poverty in the United States : an Encyclopedia of History, Politics, and Policy. (2 Vols.) HC 110 .P6 P598 2004

Finding Journal and Magazine Articles

Expanded Academic ASAP (1980 to date).   Provides coverage of 3,000 indexed and 1,900 full-text titles in a wide variety of disciplines including: social science journals, humanities journals, science and technology journals, national news periodicals, general interest magazines, newswires, The New York Times and many others. More than 1,400 journals are peer reviewed, and more than 20 years of backfile coverage are included.  Check out the browse subjections section for all the entries starting with African American!

JSTOR.  Searchable database of the full text of journals covering a wide array of academic topics including anthropology, Asian Studies, ecology, economics, education, finance, history, literature, mathematics, philosophy, political science, population studies, and sociology.  Years available vary with each title, but the most recent issues available in JSTOR will normally be 4-5 years old due to embargoes from publishers.

Periodicals Archive Online (1770-1995) is a database of millions of articles published in the arts, humanities and social sciences, across more than 300 years, by Proquest. Covers more than 3,000 journals.

Project Muse.  This database provides access to two hundred humanities and social science journals from 29 not-for-profit, scholarly publishers.  Years offered by each journal vary but usually are only the most recent issues. Muse is a unique collaboration between the participating publishers and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at the Johns Hopkins University.

Proquest Research Library (indexing: 1971 to date; full-text: 1991 to date).  Provides online access to an extensive collection of published material. You can search for information in thousands of different journals, periodicals, dissertations, newspapers, and magazines. Complete articles -- in full text, page image, or UMI's unique Text+Graphics format -- are available for many of the most popular and important sources. Provides full text coverage of over 400 journals. However, full text coverage varies by date from journal to journal.

Social Sciences Full Text (EBSCOHost)

Google Scholar, current.  Google has created this database to speed location of reports and journal articles available on the Internet. Google is also working hard on facilitating links to subscription resources offered by university libraries. However not all the links work yet. So if you find an interesting article or resources via this database, be sure to check whether it is available via the MSU Libraries electronic or print collections.

Selected Organizations and Research Centers

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - lots of research, statistics, and policy reports related to poverty and economic development.

Citizens for Tax Justice - focuses on fair taxes for middle and low-income citizens through analysis of tax policies and practices.

Community-Wealth Institute - a project of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland that emphasizes shared prosperity.

Economic Policy Institute - The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden discussions about economic policy to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers.

Good Jobs First - analyses the impacts of subsidies and job creation and community development

United for a Fair Economy - UFE raises awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. They support and help build social movements for greater equality.

More economic justice organizations are listed at

Other Websites focused on Economic Justice

Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights - dedicated to the promotion and defense of internationally recognized worker rights in the global economy. A leader in the anti-sweatshop movement.

National Jobs for All Coalition - is dedicated to the proposition that meaningful employment is a precondition for fulfilling a life and that every person capable of working should have a right to a job.

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty - works to prevent and end homelessness by serving as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to end homelessness through litigation, policy advocacy, and public education.

Policy Link - PolicyLink connects the work of people on the ground to the creation of sustainable communities of opportunity that allow everyone to participate and prosper

Social Accountability International - a leader in workers human rights and developer of the SA8000 social justice certification program.

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