February 2007

IZA DP No. 2641: Theoretical Unification in Justice and Beyond

published in: Social Justice Research, 2007, 20(3), 336-371

The goal of scientific work is to understand more and more by less and less. In this effort, theoretical unification plays a large part. There are two main types of theoretical unification – unification of different theories of the same field of phenomena and unification of theories of different fields of phenomena. Both types are usually a surprise; even when vigorously pursued, their form, when they finally appear, may differ radically from preconceptions. This paper examines a series of twenty-one unification surprises in the study of justice and beyond, sixteen in the study of justice and five in the unification of three fundamental sociobehavioral forces – justice, status, and power – and the subsequent unification of the three sociobehavioral forces with identity and with happiness.