Pursuing Justice: Traditional and Contemporary Issues in Our Communities and the World, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Pursuing Justice

Traditional and Contemporary Issues in Our Communities and the World, 3rd Edition

By Ralph A. Weisheit, Frank Morn


278 pages

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Pursuing Justice, Third Edition, examines the issue of justice by considering the origins of the idea, formal systems of justice, current global issues of justice, and ways in which justice might be achieved by individuals, organizations, and the global community. Part I demonstrates how the idea of justice has emerged over time, starting with religion and philosophy, and then to the concept of social justice. Part II outlines the very different mechanisms used by various nations for achieving state justice, including systems based on common law, civil law, and Islamic law, with a separate discussion of the US justice system. Part III focuses on six contemporary issues of justice: war, immigration, domestic terrorism, genocide, slavery, and the environment. Finally, Part IV shows how individuals and organizations can go about pursuing justice, and describes the rise of global justice.

This updated timely book helps students understand the complexities and nuances of a society's pursuit of justice. It provides students with the foundations of global justice systems, integrating Greek philosophies and major religious perspectives into a justice perspective, and contributes to undergraduate understanding of international justice bodies, NGOs, and institutions. New to the third edition is a complete chapter on immigration, with a focus on historical and global patterns as they relate to justice, as well as new material on the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, the genocide of the Rohingya of Myanmar, and the sovereign citizens movement in relation to domestic terrorism.


I highly recommend Weisheit and Morn’s updated Pursuing Justice. It succinctly describes international justice systems and how the United States system fits within these broader justice structures. In addition, it covers the most important contemporary international justice topics including: slavery, immigration, violence, and human rights in a straightforward way that makes it appropriate for all audiences.

Prof. Cara Rabe-Hemp. Department of Criminal Justice Sciences. Illinois State University

The lack of attention to the concept of "justice" within the framework of criminal justice studies is resolved in this expansive text. The authors take on the complex task of defining justice, examining various systems of justice and relevant justice issues, and grapple with how to achieve justice. Pursuing Justice will guide students to become more dedicated and thoughtful advocates for justice.

Kristi Holsinger, Professor of Criminal Justice & Criminology, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Table of Contents

Part I. What is Justice?

1. Religion and Justice

2. Philosophy and Justice

3. Justice and the State

4. Social Justice

Part II. Formal Systems of Justice

5. Common Law Systems

6. Civil Law Systems

7. Islamic Law Systems

8. Justice American Style

Part III. Contemporary Issues

9. Immigration and Justice

10. War and Justice

11. Terrorism

12. Contemporary Slavery

13. Genocide

14. The Environment

Part IV. Strategies for Achieving Justice

15. Individual Strategies for Achieving Justice

16. Organizations Seeking Justice

17. Global Justice

Conclusion: Justice as an Evolving Concept

About the Authors

Ralph A. Weisheit is a Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice at Illinois State University. He is the author of eight books, including Methamphetamine: Its History, Pharmacology, and Treatment and Domestic Marijuana: A Neglected Industry. In addition to his research on illicit drugs, Dr. Weisheit has conducted extensive research on rural crime and rural justice. He has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and solicited essays.

Frank Morn, Professor Emeritus at Illinois State University, is the author of "The Eye That Never Sleeps": A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency (1982). In addition, he has authored Academic Politics and the History of Criminal Justice Higher Education (1995) and Forgotten Reformer: Robert McClaughry and Criminal Justice Reform in Nineteenth Century America (2011) as well as his textbooks Foundations of Criminal Investigation (2000) and Criminal Justice Process and Problems: A Scenario Set for Student Analysis (1996, 1999). He won three teaching awards while at the University of Illinois (1980, 1982) and Illinois State University (2000). He has done consulting for criminal justices agencies in England, Spain, and Russia. He was a Fulbright scholar posted in Lanzhou, China.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology


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