March 8, 2010

Land Reform as Social Justice: The Case of South Africa

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Hayek argues that when governments violate people's rights by imposing discriminatory laws it may be necessary to do something to correct the situation. He suggests limiting corrective actions in two ways: only address harms that occurred in the relatively recent past, and impose no new discrimination. As a result of a very long history of discriminatory legislation, black South Africans suffered substantial harms at the hands of past governments. Following the political transition in 1994, the new government implemented land reform policies designed, in part, to satisfy calls for social justice. This paper examines these policies in the context of Hayek's arguments.

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