This chapter discusses and brings together two lines of research on global justice—the first on aiding the poor and the second on obligations to those in future generations. This is important as almost any way we try to aid the poor will have a significant impact on poor people in future as well as on present generations. In surveying the literature, the chapter defends a few principles for aiding the poor in present and future generations. It also presents a highly abstract model for testing and thinking through the consequences of such principles that might help arbitrate between principles.
This chapter analyzes the systematic relationship of Carl Schmitt’s oeuvre to rhetoric, arguing that his work cannot be detached from its engagement in a simultaneously metaphysical and historical polemic. The encounter between history and metaphysics manifests in the dimension of the commonplace. Schmitt’s contributions to political theory can be understood as attempts to shift the commonplaces through which his time defines itself. Tracing the influence of Schmitt’s early literary criticism on his legal writing, the chapter demonstrates that for him, literature is a school of rhetoric, an exemplary dimension in more than one sense: it is a normative, ethical, and stylistic authority. While Schmitt’s books are contributions to specific legal, political, and critical discourse, they also claim to contribute to the great and urgent concerns of a community. This dimension inherits the genus grande and places his oeuvre at the limits of rhetoric.
Severe poverty is a key challenge for theorists of global justice. Most theorists have approached this issue primarily by developing accounts for understanding which kinds of duties have relevance and how responsibilities for tackling severe poverty might be assigned to agents, whether individuals, nations, or states. All such views share a commitment to ending severe poverty as a wrongful deprivation with a profoundly negative impact on affected individuals. While much attention has prioritized identifying reasons for others to provide relief, this chapter examines the nature of the wrongful deprivation that characterizes severe poverty. One influential view is championed by Martha Nussbaum in her distinctive capabilities approach. An individual might be considered to experience severe poverty where she is unable to enjoy the use of the capabilities which should be available to her. But this position raises several questions. Take the fact that about 1 billion people are unable to meet their basic needs today. Would the capabilities approach claim the number is much higher given its wider grasp of human flourishing beyond mere material subsistence—and what implications would flow from this? Or would the capabilities approach claim only a portion of those unable to meet their basic needs are in a wrongful state because their circumstances are a result of free choice—and what would this mean? These questions indicate a potential concern about whether the approach is over- or underinclusive and why.
How best to response to climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing us all. Proposed solutions come in one of two approaches. The first is conservationist, seeking to minimize these effects by reducing, if not eliminating, them by bringing climate change to a stop. The second is focused specifically on adaptation mostly through technological advances to help us endure climate change by minimizing its effects. The dilemma for these proposed solutions is in their aim of being a solution to the problems that climate change brings. In short, they mistake the kind of challenge that climate change presents us. This is what I call the problem of “end-state” solutions. It is where we attempt to bring to an end a circumstance that might be influenced positively or otherwise by our activities, but beyond our full control. So to claim a so-called “solution” to such an ever-changing problem could make it better or worse without concluding it. If climate change is this kind of problem—and I will claim it is—then end-state “solutions” can be no more than a band-aid and the nature of our challenge is different, requiring an alternative future strategy. This chapter will set out how the problem of climate change is understood through attempted solutions that do not succeed. It concludes with some ideas about why this matters and the arising implications for how we should think about climate change justice beyond the false prism of end-state solutions.
This chapter develops a critical theory of transnational justice. Its normative basis is a democratic conception of justice as justification grounded in a constructivist conception of reason which is at the same time “realistic” when it comes to assessing the current world order as one of multiple forms of domination. In its critical parts, the chapter discusses a number of conceptions of justice that are parochial or positivistic in insufficiently questioning certain normative and empirical premises and thus miss the nature of forms of injustice beyond the state. In the constructive parts, it presents a reflexive argument for a discursive conception of justice. This theory is then situated in transnational contexts of rule and domination, arguing for principles and institutions of fundamental transnational justice.
David Ponet and Ethan J. Leib
The “systemic turn” in deliberative democractic theory builds off the critical insight that one instance or site of deliberation does not legitimate an entire political system. But accepting too easily that non-deliberative parts can contribute to a deliberative sum can risk deliberative democracy’s aspirations for reform. This chapter examines three evolving areas of deliberative lawmaking—administrative lawmaking, districting commissions, and deliberative plebiscites—that underscore the ongoing relevance and promise of “second wave” deliberative democratic institutional design. The “notice and comment” structure of administrative rule-making, for instance, can invite the admission of multiple voices into the lawmaking process, especially when combined with the court’s role in incentivizing such practice. The trend toward nonpartisan or bipartisan commissions establishing legislative district lines can also generate powerful deliberative democratic dividends. Similarly, practices in plebisicitary democracy—whether through instances such as citizen policy juries or other directly democratic mechanisms—can contribute toward the deliberative democratization of law and society.
The human relationships underlying both international justice and intergenerational justice are less distant than commonly assumed, as Samuel Scheffler has argued, because causal webs tightly link persons across both space and time. Both the fossil-fuel energy regime that is causing climate change and the measures necessary to make the transition from that regime into an alternative energy regime impinge deeply upon the well-being of persons who have chosen neither the regime nor the transition, linking them across space. Similarly, the fates of persons in the distant future are in the hands of people living now because the time-of-last-opportunity to prevent disasters from becoming irreversible sometimes occurs centuries earlier than the start of the disaster itself. This is powerfully illustrated by the evident irreversibility of the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which will ultimately cause catastrophic rises in sea level across the globe.
This chapter addresses two interconnected questions about human rights and the pursuit of global justice: Is there a human right to democracy? How does the achievement of human rights, including the human right to democracy, contribute to the pursuit of global justice? The chapter answers the first question in the affirmative. It identifies three reasons for favoring democracy and explores the significance of those reasons for defending it as a human right. It answers important worries that acknowledging a human right to democracy would lead to intolerance and lack of respect for peoples’ self-determination, exaggerate the importance of democracy for securing other rights, generalize institutional arrangements that only work in some contexts, and tie human rights to specific ideas of freedom and equality that do not have the same universal appeal and urgency. Regarding the second question, the chapter distinguishes between basic and non-basic global justice and argues that democracy is significant for both. It claims that the fulfillment of human rights constitutes basic global justice, explains how a human right to democracy has significance for the legitimacy of international besides domestic institutions, and shows how forms of global democracy and the exploration of cosmopolitan and humanist commitments underlying human rights may enable and motivate the pursuit of non-basic demands of global justice (such as those concerning socioeconomic equality). The key claim in the chapter is that the fulfillment of the human right to democratic political empowerment is crucial for the pursuit of global justice.
This chapter analyzes the debate between advocates of open borders and defenders of the state’s right to control immigration. It examines four arguments for the former view. (1) As common owners of the earth, everyone has the right to enter any part of it. (2) Equality of opportunity at global level requires that people should be free to move between countries. (3) There is a human right to immigrate to any country one chooses. (4) States cannot coercively exclude immigrants unless they also allow them to participate democratically in the making of immigration policy. It then considers four arguments that can be used to justify border controls. (1) Citizens have a right to freedom of association that includes the right not to associate with unwanted others. (2) Distributive justice presupposes a cultural community, the protection of which requires selective admission. (3) Stronger forms of democracy demand a high level of trust among citizens, which increased diversity may threaten. (4) Members of a political community have ownership rights over its collective assets, access to which requires their permission. It concludes by noting areas of convergence between the two sides in this apparently polarized debate.
Steven R. Ratner
International law is central to both the discourse and practice of global justice. It offers a critical institutional site for transforming theories about global justice into binding rules with institutional enforcement; many of its rules have strong claims to morality; and it can offer insights into the nature of just arrangements at the international level. This chapter first introduces the key participants and fundamental norms of international law that respond to the various claims of those participants. Second, it elaborates on the range of engagement by international legal scholarship with questions of global justice. Legal scholars have incorporated concepts of justice in their work even as their overall pragmatic orientation has limited the nature of their inquiries. Third, the chapter synthesizes the different encounters of political and moral philosophical work on global justice with international law. While some philosophers have directly inquired into the morality of legal rules and others have relied on those rules as part of broader moral arguments, others exhibit skepticism about and distance from international law. Some of that distance stems from different missions of philosophy as compared to law, but some is based on an unjustified suspicion of legal rules. It concludes with some suggestions for future collaboration between philosophical and legal approaches to global justice.
John Tasioulas and Effy Vayena
This chapter offers an integrated account of two strands of global health justice: health-related human rights and health-related common goods. After sketching a general understanding of the nature of human rights, it proceeds to explain both how individual human rights are to be individuated and the content of their associated obligations specified. With respect to both issues, the human right to health is taken as the primary illustration. It is argued that (1) the individuation of the right to health is fixed by reference to the subject matter of its corresponding obligations, and not by the interests it serves, and (2) the specification of the content of that right must be properly responsive to thresholds of possibility and burden. The chapter concludes by insisting that human rights cannot constitute the whole of global health justice and that, in addition, other considerations—including the promotion of health-related global public goods—should also shape such policy. Moreover, the relationship between human rights and common goods should not be conceived as mutually exclusive. On the contrary, there sometimes exists an individual right to some aspect of a common good, including a right to benefit from health-related common goods such as programs for securing herd immunity from diphtheria.
Motivating Solidarity with Distant Others: Empathic Politics, Responsibility, and the Problem of Global Justice
Carol C. Gould
It is widely acknowledged that although people show considerable concern about the well-being of family, friends, and others close to them, perhaps extending to their own national group, they most often show much less concern for the needs and rights of distant others, for example, those working in sweatshop conditions, or suffering from extreme poverty, or experiencing severe impacts from climate change. This chapter considers the motivation people might have (or might come to have) for taking the needs and rights of these distant others seriously and for standing in solidarity with them. Does this motivation arise from rational reflection on their rights and their equal moral status, as traditionally conceived, or does it require beyond this a disposition to empathy or to care? Drawing on recent philosophical analyses of empathy and on the feminist ethics of care, as well as on the author’s own previous account of transnational solidarities, the chapter analyzes some of the epistemic and motivational aspects of empathy, while also taking note of its potential dangers. It goes on to argue that rational respect can usefully be supplemented with an understanding of the perspective of the other and “feeling with” them and explores some specific ways in which empathizing can transform critical reasoning in global contexts. The chapter’s conclusion suggests some implications of this account for the current issue of how to conceive of the responsibility for fulfilling the requirements of global justice.
On what is called the “institutional approach” to justice, the primary duty that justice agents have in cases where just institutional arrangements are lacking is that of doing their part to help establish these arrangements. This special institutional focus in the context of institutional injustice can appear misdirected and insufficiently demanding. It is misdirected, according to some critics, because it wrongly fixates on means (i.e. institutional mechanisms) rather than ends (i.e. just outcomes); and it seems overly lax because it limits duties of justice to creating better institutions. With global injustice as its setting, this chapter tries to assuage these concerns.
Christopher Heath Wellman
Few deny that states should be delineated territorially, but questions abound as to what moral rights states can claim to which parcels of territory. In other words, even if one assumes that states can be legitimate and must be territorially districted (and not everyone does, of course), why think that Norway is entitled to exclusive jurisdiction over the particular piece of territory it currently occupies? And even if Norway does have a special claim to this land, what rights does this give it against which parties? More specifically, does Norway have exclusive rights of jurisdiction (the right to make and enforce law on its territory), resources (the right to control and consume the natural resources available in its territory), and/or border control (the right to design and enforce its own immigration policy as it sees fit)? This chapter explores how functional theorists (those who believe that states are justified in virtue of the important functions they perform) might try to ground a legitimate state’s claims to jurisdiction, border control, and resources. I argue that functional theorists can provide plausible accounts of the first two territorial rights, but it remains unclear how they can justify the third. Assuming that this is correct, the plausibility of functional theories of political legitimacy will depend upon whether natural resources should be understood as belonging exclusively to the citizens of the country in which they lie.
A number of theorists have recently offered a freedom-based argument for the right to migrate. This chapter adopts this account and asks whether the right to global free movement can be reconciled with other people’s rights of territorial occupancy. Examining cases of settler colonialism, it argues for an important qualification to the right to global free movement, designed to protect native inhabitants’ ability to permanently reside on their territory, and to use it for the social, cultural, and economic practices they value. If it is to be justifiable, global free movement must allow for the permissible exclusion of colonial settlers. Yet who to count as a potential colonial settler is a tricky question. The chapter argues that it is wrong to settle in another country in cases where (1) one comes with a project of political domination or (2) one has an adequate territorial base in another part of the world and one’s migration to another region would severely harm the collective practices of people with occupancy rights there.
Thinking Normatively about Global Justice without Systematic Reflection on Global Capitalism: The Paradigmatic Case of Rawls
Given the huge impact of capitalism on global justice, it is a significant weakness of liberal political philosophy devoted to global justice that it has paid relatively little attention to this impact. Symptomatic of this weakness are the political ineffectiveness and explanatory reticence of liberal theories of global justice in the face of the large and arguably growing gap between theory and practice. This chapter discusses Rawls’s Law of Peoples as an paradigmatic case, taking particular issue with his vision of a realistic utopia and his idea of democratic peace. It aims to show how the mainstream liberal approach is vitiated in its grasp of relevant facts and in its normative plausibility by the separation of the political and the economic, of the normative and the causal, and by the resulting ideological reconciliation with the status quo.
Thomas Pogge’s Conception of Taking the Global Institutional Order as the Object of Justice Assessments
Might our reasoning about social justice at the domestic level—for instance, with regard to the kind of objects that our justice assessments are immediately concerned with and the content of principles employed—properly diverge from its counterpart at the global level? This is the question around which much of the current global justice debate revolves. This chapter is devoted to examining and arguing that the answers provided by Thomas Pogge for the most part retain their plausibility despite the barrage of criticism they have provoked. While Pogge is particularly renowned for his contention that existing world poverty constitutes an injustice that implicates ordinary citizens of affluent societies in negative duty violations, this chapter will not be directly weighing in on this debate. Rather, it seeks to examine a fundamental commitment in Pogge’s justice theorizing: if we are to take the basic institutional scheme of a domestic society as the primary subject of justice in virtue of its profound and pervasive effects, then consistency requires us to subject the global institutional scheme to the same type of justice analysis, and to devise a corresponding set of principles governing its design. Through clarifying the meaning and implications of this proposition, this chapter hopes to bring out a more lucid and unified reading of Pogge’s institutional approach to justice theorizing, one that is both appealing and remains viable in the absence of a world government.
Indigenous philosophies are essential to indigenous peoples’ self-determination, and essential to the pursuit and realization of justice for indigenous peoples globally. Given this contention, the absence of indigenous philosophies in mainstream global justice theorizing is problematic for the continued relevance of global justice theorizing today. The aim of this chapter is to think seriously about how to remedy this problem, and to begin to provide some of the solutions for moving forward, focusing particularly on Māori philosophies and Kaupapa Māori theory. More specifically, following a discussion of the importance of indigenous philosophies for global justice, we explore (1) why even the strongest (in intercultural terms) mainstream approach to justice—the capability approach—has so far fallen short, and (2) why indigenous methodologies remain vital to the appropriate articulation and inclusion of indigenous philosophies in justice theorizing. In so doing, the chapter highlights some of the opportunities within, and challenges to, mainstream justice theorizing—and philosophy more generally—for remedying this shortfall.
Christian Barry and David Wiens
While there need be no conflict in theory between addressing global inequality (inequalities between people worldwide) and addressing domestic inequality (inequalities between people within a political community), there may be instances in which the feasible mechanism for reducing global inequality risks aggravating domestic inequality. The burgeoning literature on global justice has tended to overlook this type of scenario, and theorists espousing global egalitarianism have consequently not engaged with cases that are important for evaluating and clarifying the content of their theories. This chapter explores potential tensions between promoting global and domestic inequality. It introduces a class of second-best scenarios that global justice theorists have neglected in order to demonstrate the importance of such scenarios as an aid to constructing and evaluating ideals of global justice.