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Journal ArticleDOI

The Problem of Global Justice

01 Mar 2005-Philosophy & Public Affairs (Wiley)-Vol. 33, Iss: 2, pp 113-147
TL;DR: The need for workable ideas about the global or international case presents political theory with its most important current task, and even perhaps with the opportunity to make a practical contribution in the long run, though perhaps only the very long run as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: By comparison with the perplexing and undeveloped state of this subject, domestic political theory is very well understood, with multiple highly developed theories offering alternative solutions to well-defined problems By contrast, concepts and theories of global justice are in the early stages of formation, and it is not clear what the main questions are, let alone the main possible answers I believe that the need for workable ideas about the global or international case presents political theory with its most important current task, and even perhaps with the opportunity to make a practical contribution in the long run, though perhaps only the very long run The theoretical and normative questions I want to discuss are closely related to pressing practical questions that we now face about the legitimate path forward in the governance of the world These are, inevitably, questions about institutions, many of which do not yet exist However imperfectly, the nation-state is the primary locus of political legitimacy and the pursuit of justice, and it is one of the advantages of domestic political theory that nation-states actually exist But when we are
Citations
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Book
01 Jan 2008
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors defend the idea of national responsibility and propose a new theory of global justice, whose main elements are the protection of basic human rights, which they call National Responsibility and Global Justice.
Abstract: This chapter outlines the main ideas of my book National responsibility and global justice. It begins with two widely held but conflicting intuitions about what global justice might mean on the one hand, and what it means to be a member of a national community on the other. The first intuition tells us that global inequalities of the magnitude that currently exist are radically unjust, while the second intuition tells us that inequalities are both unavoidable and fair once national responsibility is allowed to operate. This conflict might be resolved either by adopting a cosmopolitan theory of justice (which leaves no room for national responsibility) or by adopting a ‘political’ theory of justice (which denies that questions of distributive justice can arise beyond the walls of the sovereign state). Since neither resolution is satisfactory, the chapter defends the idea of national responsibility and proposes a new theory of global justice, whose main elements are the protection of basic human rights worl...

926 citations


Cites background from "The Problem of Global Justice"

  • ...Such a view has recently been given an eloquent defence by Thomas Nagel, who argues, following another Thomas, Thomas Hobbes, that ‘the idea of global justice without a world government is a chimera’ (Nagel 2005 , p....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors discuss the measurement of world poverty and inequality, with particular attention to the role of purchasing power parity (PPP) price indexes from the International Comparison Project.
Abstract: I discuss the measurement of world poverty and inequality, with particular attention to the role of purchasing power parity (PPP) price indexes from the International Comparison Project. Global inequality increased with the latest revision of the ICP, and this reduced the global poverty line relative to the US dollar. The recent large increase of nearly half a billion poor people came from an inappropriate updating of the global poverty line, not from the ICP revisions. Even so, PPP comparisons between widely different countries rest on weak theoretical and empirical foundations. I argue for wider use of self-reports from international monitoring surveys, and for a global poverty line that is truly denominated in US dollars.

355 citations


Cites background from "The Problem of Global Justice"

  • ...Global poverty and global inequality measures have a central place in a cosmopolitan vision of the world, in which international organizations such as the UN and the World Bank are somehow supposed to fulfill the redistributive role of the missing global government; see for example Thomas Pogge (2002) or Peter Singer (2002)....

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  • ...For those who do not accept the cosmopolitan vision as morally compelling or descriptively accurate, such measures are less relevant: John Rawls (1999), Thomas Nagel (2005), Leif Wenar (2006)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that participation in multilateral institutions can enhance the quality of national democratic processes, even in well-functioning democracies, by restricting the power of special interest factions, protecting individual rights, and improving quality of democratic deliberation, while also increasing capacities to achieve important public objectives.
Abstract: International organizations are widely believed to undermine domestic democracy+ Our analysis challenges this conventional wisdom, arguing that multilat- eral institutions can enhance the quality of national democratic processes, even in well- functioning democracies, in a number of important ways: by restricting the power of special interest factions, protecting individual rights, and improving the quality of dem- ocratic deliberation, while also increasing capacities to achieve important public pur- poses+ The article discusses conflicts and complementarities between multilateralism and democracy, outlines a working conception of constitutional democracy, elabo- rates theoretically the ways in which multilateral institutions can enhance constitu- tional democracy, and discusses the empirical conditions under which multilateralism is most likely to have net democratic benefits, using contemporary examples to illus- trate the analysis+ The overall aim is to articulate a set of critical democratic standards appropriate for evaluating and helping to guide the reform of international institutions+ Many scholars and popular commentators assert that international organizations undermine democracy+ Global governance, they argue, is distant, elitist, and tech- nocratic+ Debates over multilateralism are increasingly waged between critics, who point to the ways in which international institutions undermine domestic demo- cratic processes, and defenders, who stress pragmatic benefits+ In this article we challenge this conventional framing of the issue+ We do so by arguing that participation in multilateral institutions—defined broadly to include international organizations, regimes, and networks governed

347 citations


Cites background from "The Problem of Global Justice"

  • ...…maintained+ Such a trilemma implies that democracies have more difficulty than nondemocracies in imposing domestic policies that promote integration with the world economy+ 10+ See Nagel 2005a and 2005b; and Rabkin 2005+ 11+ Chayes and Chayes 1995; on sovereignty more generally, see Krasner…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors defend the cosmopolitan notion that equality is a demand of justice only among citizens (and indeed, indeed, among all human beings), and demonstrate that this discrepancy is not in fact arbitrary, and to do so without violating any of cosmopolitan premises with which we began.
Abstract: All cosmopolitans hold at least this set of beliefs: (1) Human beings are ultimate units of moral concern. Families, tribes, nations, cultures, and so on can become units of concern only indirectly. (2) The status as an ultimate unit of moral concern extends to all human beings equally. (3) Human beings should be treated as ultimate units of concern by everyone. Accepting these cosmopolitan premises, as I do, poses a challenge for anyone who believes that fundamentally different principles of distributive justice apply to the global order, on one hand, and to the main social and political institutions of the modern state, on the other. “This discrepancy in moral assessment,” Pogge avers, “looks arbitrary. Why should our moral duties, constraining what economic order we may impose upon one another, be so different in the two cases?” The aim of this article is to demonstrate that this discrepancy is not in fact arbitrary, and to do so without violating any of the cosmopolitan premises with which we began. More specifically, I will defend the idea that equality is a demand of justice only among citizens (and, indeed,

313 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In a world of rivalrous states whose peoples are connected ever more directly by globalization, Thomas Nagel has forcefully reasserted a classical thesis of early modern political thought: outside the state, Nagel argues, there is no justice as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: In a world of rivalrous states whose peoples are connected ever more directly by globalization, Thomas Nagel has forcefully reasserted a classical thesis of early modern political thought: outside the state, Nagel argues, there is no justice. From this it follows, given the absence of a global state, that there can be no global justice. Apart from this striking conclusion, however, little in Nagel’s argument echoes the Hobbesian variant of the early modern tradition to which he appeals. Even in our globally stateless condition, Nagel assumes, a humanitarian morality, including protections of basic, universal human rights, imposes obligations across borders, although these obligations fall short of requirements of justice. He acknowledges, too, the growing importance to the lives of individuals the world over of global forms of cooperation organized by specialized institutions that Extra Rempublicam Nulla Justitia? JOSHUA COHEN AND CHARLES SABEL

292 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
Michael Blake1
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that a globally impartial liberal theory is not in the best interests of distributive justice, and identify a different way in which liberalism might deal with the worries created by the fact of state borders.
Abstract: Liberalism has difficulty with the fact of state borders. Liberals are, on the one hand, committed to moral equality, so that the simple fact of humanity is sufficient to motivate a demand for equal concern and respect. Liberal principles, on the other hand, are traditionally applied only within the context of the territorial state, which seems to place an arbitrary limit on the range within which liberal guarantees will apply. This difficulty is particularly stark in the context of distributive justice; state boundaries, after all, often divide not simply one jurisdiction from another, but the rich from the poor as well. Allowing these boundaries to determine distributive shares seems to place an almost feudal notion of birthright privilege back into the heart of liberal theory. This difficulty has led many philosophers to argue that some revision of liberal theory is necessary. These proposals frequently involve either the demand that liberalism focus on previously neglected particularistic commitments, or the demand that it abandon such local concerns and endorse a cosmopolitan vision of distributive justice. What I want to do in this article is identify a different way in which liberalism might deal with the worries created by the fact of state borders. My argument is that a globally impartial liberal theory is not in-

498 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argued that all fundamental normative principles that apply to the design of institutions apply also to the conduct of people and argued that any plausible overall political/moral view must, at the fundamental level, evaluate the justice of institutions with normative principles, which apply to individuals and their actions in particular circumstances.
Abstract: The principles of justice for institutions must not be confused with the principles which apply to individuals and their actions in particular circumstances. This chapter defends the contrary view: all fundamental normative principles that apply to the design of institutions apply also to the conduct of people. It argues that any plausible overall political/moral view must, at the fundamental level, evaluate the justice of institutions with normative principles that apply also to people's choices. Rawls's division-of-labor argument explicitly links dualism to the attractiveness of a less intrusive, and in that sense less demanding, theory of justice; the chapter endorses the importance of the division of labor for the issue of demands but rejected the connection with dualism. The ideal of the division of labor thus provides no support one way or the other for the view that principles of justice apply exclusively to the design of institutions.

337 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jul 2000-Ethics
TL;DR: The Law of Peoples as mentioned in this paper is the most comprehensive and systematic statement of John Rawls's international thought, which is consistent with the most revolutionary developments in international law in the twentieth century and the subordination of national sovereignty to international standards of political legitimacy embodied in the doctrine of human rights.
Abstract: The Law of Peoples is John Rawls’s most comprehensive and systematic statement of his international thought.1 It is a remarkable and unusual essay. The normative scope is surprisingly broad for a work of this length, embracing subjects from the morality of war to the international distribution of resources to the ethics of statesmanship. The theory aims to be continuous with the political theory of a liberal, democratic political culture— indeed, to illustrate that such a theory is incomplete without an articulate understanding of the society’s international responsibilities. Rawls’s view is consistent with the most revolutionary developments in international law in the twentieth century—the limitation of war to purposes of self-defense and the subordination of national sovereignty to international standards of political legitimacy embodied in the doctrine of human rights, of which he provides an original and provocative interpretation. The view is situated in the intellectual context of modern Anglo-American international thought, aspiring to occupy the middle ground between the skepticism of the so-called realists and a politically inert utopianism. The tone is more personal, and Rawls’s conception of our historical situation is made more explicit, than in his earlier works. Together with his paper, ‘‘The Idea of Public Reason Revisited’’ (republished in the same volume),2 The Law of Peoples represents, as he writes, ‘‘the culmination of my reflections on how reasonable citizens and peoples might live together peacefully in a just world’’ (p. vi). For all of these reasons, this essay ranks among Rawls’s most important works in

235 citations

Journal Article
Abstract: Do efforts to extend and enforce human rights unfairly impose Western liberal and individualistic values on societies whose varying traditions deserve greater respect? Are supposedly “universal” human rights “just another cunning exercise in Western moral imperialism,” as Michael Ignatieff pointedly asks? 2 Liberal academics and intellectuals in the West often argue, with Martha Nussbaum, that “there are no obstacles to justifying the same norms, in the area of basic entitlements, for all the world’s people.” 3

57 citations