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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter critically analyzes the role played by the state in the global justice debate. It surveys the different ways in which statists and cosmopolitans invoke the state either to justify the scope and content of their preferred principles of justice or to explain how such principles might be realized. The chapter also distinguishes between two conceptualizations of the state: as a system of institutions and as an agent in its own right. On the basis of this analysis, the authors conclude that both at the level of justification and at that of realization, the most plausible positions with respect to global justice lie somewhere in between full-blown cosmopolitanism and full-blown statism. While principles of egalitarian justice are not confined to the state, they do not extend in identical form to the global realm. Similarly, while the state—as we know it—is insufficient to realize plausible principles of justice (be they statist or cosmopolitan), what realizing justice requires falls short of the creation of a comprehensive global sovereign.

Keywords: state, justification, realization, statism, cosmopolitanism

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