This paper starts from the paradoxical observation that classical and contemporary sociology have little to offer for the current debate on „justice“, although inequities and injustice gave rise to sociology as a science and keep on inspiring major fields of research today. There is one exception, however: Emile Durkheim’s sociology is designed as a moral science to help create a „just“ order. Interestingly enough, his structural approach is superior to the normative or institutional attempts of moral philosophy, as he looks at the relationship of socio-structural development, institutional infrastructure and the moral consciousness of a society. A „just“ society is equivalent to a complex balance between social structure, institutional system and collective representations, or, in short: justice is a state of solidary equilibrium. Yet, in spelling out the criteria of contributive, commutative and distributive justice in detail, Durkheim is inconsistent and vague. His failure is instructive for the future direction of reflection on „justice“: In a complex, functionally differentiated society with distinct values, there are autonomous „spheres of justice“ with their own rules and the meta rule consists of imposing restrictions on the convertibility of values and resources, i.e.: „Good fences make just societies“ (Walzer 1983, S. 319).