Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the relevance of facts and empirical enquiry for the normative project of enquiring what principles of distributive justice, if any, apply at the global level. Is empirical research needed for this kind of enquiry? And if so, how? Claims about global distributive justice often rest on factual assumptions. Seven different ways in which facts about national, regional and global politics (and hence empirical research into global politics) might inform accounts of global distributive justice are examined. A deep understanding of the nature of global politics and the world economy (and thus empirical research on it) is needed: to grasp the implications of principles of global distributive justice; to evaluate such principles for their attainability and political feasibility; to assess their desirability; and, first, to conceptualize the subject-matter of global distributive justice and to formulate the questions that accounts of global distributive justice need to answer.
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