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At the core of terms such as “inclusion,” “civic engagement,” “social participation,” and “social justice”—terms that this special issue is built around—are political concepts that have been plumbed deeply by political theorists. Two concepts that underwrite much of this terminology are community and justice, both robustly debated within political theory. It is the premise of this article that exploring those debates—definitions of justice and community put forward and argued—and proposing specific versions of those core concepts will provide a defensible basis for research deploying these terms and a practical raison d’état for the institutions of library and information science. Defensible constructs of community and justice with affinities to the field are particularly important in the current political era.