Problem setting. Social justice is determined by the attitude o f the state towards those who contribute to its strengthening and recovery. High power is here the main arbiter. Therefore, the government should create a system for the search for talented people who can bring benefits to the state and provide them with a decent livelihood through the implementation o f the principle o f social justice. The greatest hopes here are based on democracy, which, according to Merkel’s definition, may not only be effective, but also defective. Therefore, the assessment o f its ability to ensure the principle o f social justice reveals a wide research space for scientists o f different directions, especially political scientists and sociologists.
Recent research and publications analysis. Comprehensive systematic study o f the problem o f social justice is contained in works by L. Boltansky, L. Teveno, K. Sabbay, M. Sandel, M. Woltser, V. Argunova, I. Gavrilova, I. Devyatko, O. Sapelkina, T. Shipunova. It is these studies, along with works R. A. Dahl ( “Democracy and Its Critics”, 1989), L. Diamond ( “The End o f the Third Wave and the Global Future o f Democracy”, 1996), R. Dworkin ( “Constitutionalism and Democracy”, 1995) were used by Merkel in developing the concept o f defective democracies. The рaper objective was analysis o f the causes and consequences o f the deformation o f the principle o f social justice in conditions o f defective democracy. Paper main body. In political science, social justice is defined as perfect integrity and is associated with a balance between equality and freedom. At the same time, the requirements for social justice are growing and exacerbated by the spread o f social and legal inequality, exploitation, the dominance o f administrative and bureaucratic methods o f governance, limiting political freedoms, orienting social policies to service and enriching the ruling classes o f society. The vast majority o f researchers in this phenomenon determine that social justice is an inherent feature of democracy, although the existence of democratic institutions does not always guarantee the implementation o f the principle of social justice. The conducted research showed: 1) democracy, as a political regime, implies the possibility o f deformation o f any parameter characterizing the ways and mechanisms o f the realization of power in society; 2) “defect” of democracy is determined by the presence of shortcomings or limitations o f institutional mechanisms created by the constitutional and legal democratic system for the realization of democratic practices o f domination. It is noted that the main signs o f defective democracy are corruption, ineffective courts, weak civil self-organization, incapable groups o f interests and party systems, underdeveloped administrative infrastructure and controversial monopoly o f the state for the exercise o f political power.
The analysis carried out in the article allowed to reach the following conclusions of the research. The mechanisms o f action o f the principle o f social justice in Ukraine are destroying such defects o f its democracy: imperfection o f the functional separation o f the actions o f branches o f power and their real independence; defects o f party construction in a multi-party system; corrupt power; “damage” o f the constitutional and legal principles and partial neutralization o f the mechanisms o f containment of power; the establishment and institutionalization o f nonformal practices and rules o f the political game, the displacement o f formal political institutions by informal; the state’s inability to overcome the economic and political problems o f the pre-democratic phase o f development; domination o f paternalistic practices in socio-political and socio-economic relations.