The two traditional ways of thinking about justice at the global level either limit the applicability of justice to states or else extend it to all human beings. The view I defend rejects both these approaches and instead recognizes different considerations or conditions based on which individuals are in the scope of different principles of justice. Finding a philosophically convincing alternative to those approaches strikes me as the most demanding and important challenge contemporary political philosophy faces (one that in turn reflects the significance of the political issues that are at stake). My own view, and thus my attempt at meeting this challenge, acknowledges the existence of multiple grounds of justice. This book seeks to present a foundational theory that makes it plausible that there could be multiple grounds of justice and to defend a specific view of the grounds that I call pluralist internationalism. Pluralist Internationalism grants particular normative relevance to the state but qualifies this relevance by embedding the state into other grounds that are associated with their own principles of justice and that thus impose additional obligations on those who share membership in a state. The grounds that I discuss are shared membership in a state; common humanity; shared membership in the global order; shared involvement with the global trading system; and humanity’s collective ownership of the earth. (It is probably in the conceptualization of common ownership as a ground of justice that my view seems strangest.) Within this theory one must explore what obligations of justice pertain to states and other institutions. International institutions must be understood as agents of justice (rather than as entities that merely advance particular state interests). Moreover, it is international organizations or other entities of global administrative law that most plausibly create the context in which states give account to noncitizens for their contributions to justice.
This book focuses on normative questions that arise about globalization. Much social science research is devoted to exploring the political, legal, social and economic changes that occur all around us. This books offers an introductory treatment of the philosophical questions that arise about these changes. Why would people have human rights? We will be looking at different answers to this question. Could there be a universal morality in the first place? This question captures a particular kind of skepticism that has also been applied to the human rights movement and needs to be addresses for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be intellectually credible. Ought there to be states? Perhaps there are more appropriate ways of organizing humanity politically. What does distributive justice require at the global level? The world in which we live is one of a striking inequality that challenges us to explore what a just world would look like. What does justice require of us with regard to climate change? We now live in a geological era sometimes called the Athropocene: it is human action that has the biggest impact on the future of all life. How should we think about fairness in trade? Trade, after all, ties people together around the world. And what does justice imply for immigration policy? Each of these questions is answered in its own chapter. Introductions to political philosophy normally focus mostly or entirely on domestic questions. This introduction is concerned with questions of global scope throughout.
In earlier times the concern about free trade was whether it would maximize what a country can make of its resources, knowledge and the resulting trading possibilities. Nowadays among the primary worries are whether free trade is compatible with social and moral agendas, and whether it harms the environment. One major concern is whether free trade is fair, a topic not much explored by philosophers. This study explores that subject. We will not try to assess whether there is a 'fair price.' Rather, we will be concerned with assessing what, if any, moral considerations apply to the trade policies of countries with different bodies of law whose citizens nevertheless trade with each other.
More than 20% of the world population lives in abject poverty, on less than $1 day, and about 50% on less than $2. One quarter is illiterate. The 2.5 billion people in low–income countries have an infant mortality rate of over 100 for every 1000 live births, compared to six in high–income countries. According to widely circulating statistics, the gap between rich and poor has increased dramatically: in 1820, the gap in average per capita incomes was 3:1, in 1960 60:1, and in 1997 74:1. The contrast between lavishly rich Americans whose urgent questions of the day are about where to go for dinner and when to meet one?s personal trainer, and cotton farmers in Mali with barely enough to survive could hardly be starker, and becomes depressing if we recall that US cotton subsidies exacerbate their plight. Such facts are especially alarming since our world is politically and economically interconnected, a continuous global society based on local territorial sovereignty whosefate is shaped not merely by states, but also by transnational and transgovernmental networks, structures aptly called the global political and economic order. Since there is such an order, the radically unequal distribution of advantage may not be an aggregative phenomenon arising from many disconnected causes. Instead, we must ask whether there is a sense in which that order itself actually harms the least–advantaged, the global poor, in a way that implies an injustice. This essay aims to contribute to that task.
In September 2000, the U.N. General Assembly committed governments to eradicating extreme poverty. Endorsing several specific development goals, this historical document was called the Millennium Declaration, and has since become a reference point for development efforts across the globe.