Publications on Global Justice (superseded)

Preface to Development Ethics: Accountability, Responsibility, and Integrity, special issue of the Journal of Global Ethics 4/3 (2008), 175–177.

“Aligned: Global Justice and Ecology” in Laura Westra, Klaus Bosselmann and Richard Westra, eds.: Reconciling Human Existence with Ecological Integrity (London: Earthscan 2008), 147–158.

Poverty and Human Rights” (2007), Expert Comment for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; reprinted in Manoj Kumar Pattanaik, ed.: Human Rights and Intellectual Property (Hyderabad: ICFAI University Press 2008), 95–102.

“Two Reflections on the First United Nations Millennium Development Goal” in Thomas Mappes and Jane Zembaty, eds.: Social Ethics: Morality and Social Policy, 7th edition (Columbus OH: McGraw Hill 2006), 456–464.

Real World Justice” in Journal of Ethics 9/1–2 (March 2005), 29–53; reprinted in Gillian Brock and Darrel Moellendorf, eds.: Current Debates in Global Justice (Dordrecht: Springer 2005), 29–53; and, abbreviated, as “A Cosmopolitan Perspective on the Global Economic Order” in Gillian Brock and Harry Brighouse, eds.: The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2005), 92–109; and in UNESCO, ed.:Poverty, Next Frontier in the Human Rights Struggle? (Paris: UNESCO 2005).  French  Japanese

   Abstract: Despite a high and growing global average income, billions of human beings are still condemned to lifelong severe poverty with all its attendant evils of low life expectancy, social exclusion, ill health, illiteracy, dependency, and effective enslavement. We citizens of the rich countries are conditioned to think of this problem as an occasion for assistance. Thanks in part to the rationalizations dispensed by our economists, most of us do not realize how deeply we are implicated, through the new global economic order our states have imposed, in this ongoing catastrophe. My sketch of how we are so implicated follows the argument of my book World Poverty and Human Rights, but takes the form of a response to the book’s critics.

Moral Universalism and Global Economic Justice” in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 1/1 (February 2002), 29–58; reprinted in Keith Horton and Haig Patapan, eds.: Globalization and Equality (New York: Routledge 2004), 49–76; in Thom Brooks, ed.: The Global Justice Reader (Oxford: Blackwell 2008), 358–382; in Ethan B. Kapstein and Joel H. Rosenthal, eds.: Ethics and International Relations (London: Ashgate 2009), 415–44; and in Paul James, ed.: Globalization and Politics (New Delhi: SAGE Publications 2014); updated version in World Poverty and Human Rights, chapter 4.  Italian

   Abstract: Moral universalism centrally involves the idea that the moral assessment of persons and their conduct, of social rules and states of affairs, must be based on fundamental principles that do not, explicitly or covertly, discriminate arbitrarily against particular persons or groups. This general idea is explicated in terms of three conditions. It is then applied to the discrepancy between our criteria of national and global economic justice. Most citizens of developed countries are unwilling to require of the global economic order what they assuredly require of any national economic order — e.g., that its rules be under democratic control, that it preclude life-threatening poverty as far as is reasonably possible. Without a plausible justification, such a double standard constitutes covert arbitrary discrimination against the global poor.

Patriotismus und Kosmopolitanismus: Inwieweit ist Politik den eigenen Bürgern oder globaler Gerechtigkeit verpflichtet?” in Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 56/3 (2002), 426–448.

   Abstract: Patriotism is not merely an attitude, but also normative guidance. As such, it may claim that citizens and governments may, and perhaps should, show more concern for the survival and flourishing of their own state, culture, and compatriots than for the survival and flourishing of foreign states, cultures, and persons (common patriotism). Or it may claim that citizens and governments may, and perhaps should, show more concern for the justice of their own state and for wrongs suffered by its members than for the justice of any foreign social systems and for wrongs suffered by foreigners (lofty patriotism). Even if these claims are true, the scope of the asserted patriotic priorities is nonetheless strictly limited. They cannot justify that powerful states impose unjust rules on others or ignore such unjust rules while benefiting from them. The steadily growing international inequality can be traced to such unjust rules, which also contribute substantially to corruption and oppression in the developing countries.

The Influence of the Global Order on the Prospects for Genuine Democracy in the Developing Countries” in Ratio Juris 14/3 (2001), 326–343, updated reprint in Daniele Archibugi, ed.: Debating Cosmopolitics (London: Verso 2003), 117–140.

   Abstract: There is much rhetorical and even some tangible support by the developed states for democratisation processes in the poorer countries. Most people there nevertheless enjoy little genuine democratic participation or even government responsiveness to their needs. This fact is commonly explained by indigenous factors, often related to the history and culture of particular societies. My essay outlines a competing explanation by reference to global institutional factors, involving fixed features of our global economic system. It also explores possible global institutional reforms that, insofar as the offered explanation is correct, should greatly improve the prospects for democracy and responsive government in the developing world.

Eradicating Systemic Poverty: Brief for a Global Resources Dividend” in Journal of Human Development 2/1 (2001), 59–77, and in Hugh LaFolette, ed.: Ethics in Practice, second edition (Oxford: Blackwell 2002), 604–617, reprinted in Matthew Clayton and Andrew Williams, eds.: Social Justice (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 264–285; reprinted in Thom Brooks, ed.: The Global Justice Reader (Oxford: Blackwell 2008), 439–453; reprinted as “A Global Resources Dividend” in Karl Widerquist, José A. Noguera, Yannick Vanderborght, and Jurgen De Wispelaere, eds.: Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell 2013), 375–391; revised English version in Sur: Revista Internacional de direitos humanos 6 (2007), English edition, 136–158; updated version in World Poverty and Human Rights, chapter 8.  Finnish  Spanish  Portuguese  German

Internationale Gerechtigkeit: Ein universalistischer Ansatz,” 2001; English translation by Dana Tulodziecki “A Universalistic Approach to International Justice,” in Giuseppe Zaccaria, ed.: Internationale Gerechtigkeit und Interpretation / International Justice and Interpretation (Münster: LIT Verlag 2002), 57–80.  Italian

Achieving Democracy” in Ethics and International Affairs 15 (2001), 3–23, and in Nythamar Fernandes de Oliveira and Draiton Gonzaga de Souza, eds.: Justiça e Política: Homenagem a Otfried Höffe (Porto Alegre: Editora da PUCRS 2003), 471–500, and in Christian Barry, Barry Herman and Lydia Tomitova, eds.: Dealing Fairly with Developing Country Debt (Oxford: Blackwell 2008), 249–273; integrated into World Poverty and Human Rights as chapter 6.

   Abstract: Overcoming corruption and authoritarian government in the developing countries is rendered more difficult by global institutional arrangements, specifically by the international borrowing and resource privileges, which entitle those exercising effective power in a country to borrow in its name and to effect legally valid transfers of ownership rights in its resources. These international conventions greatly increase the incentives toward coup attempts, especially in countries with a large resource sector. In exploring how this problem might be highlighted and addressed, it is essential to understand that affluent societies have a great interest in upholding the prevailing institutional arrangements: Their banks benefit from their international lending and — far more importantly — their firms and people benefit greatly from cheap resource supplies. Institutional reform is more likely, then, to come from the developing countries. Thus, fledgling democracies may be able to improve their stability through constitutional amendments that bar future unconstitutional governments from borrowing in the country’s name and from conferring ownership rights in its public property. Such amendments would render insecure the claims of those who lend to, or buy from, dictators, thus reducing the rewards of coups d’état. This strategy might be resisted by the more affluent societies, but such resistance could perhaps be overcome if many developing countries pursued the proposed strategy together and if some moral support emerged among the publics of the affluent societies.

The Moral Demands of Global Justice” in Dissent 47/4 (Fall 2000), 37–43; reprinted with revisions in Dwight Furrow, ed.: Moral Soundings: Readings on the Crisis of Values in Contemporary Life (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield 2004), 83–94.  Portuguese

The International Significance of Human Rights” in The Journal of Ethics 4/1–2 (March 2000), 45–69; reprinted in Guido Pincione and Horacio Spector, eds.: Rights, Equality, and Liberty (Dordrecht: Kluwer 2000), 45–69.  Spanish French

   Abstract: A comparative examination of four alternative ways of understanding what human rights are supports an institutional understanding as suggested by Article 28 of the Universal Declaration: Human rights are weighty moral claims on any coercively imposed institutional order, national or international (as Article 28 confirms). Any such order must afford the persons on whom it is imposed secure access to the objects of their human rights. This understanding of human rights is broadly sharable across cultures and narrows the philosophical and practical differences between the friends of civil and political and the champions of social, economic, and cultural human rights. When applied to the global institutional order, it provides a new argument for conceiving human rights as universal — and a new basis for criticizing this order as too encouraging of oppression, corruption, and poverty in the developing countries: We have a negative duty not to cooperate in the imposition of this global order if feasible reforms of it would significantly improve the realization of human rights.

“The Bounds of Nationalism” in Giuseppe Orsi, Kurt Seelmann, Stefan Smid, and Ulrich Steinvorth, eds.: Internationale Gerechtigkeit, Rechtsphilosophische Hefte 7 (Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang 1997), 55–90, and in Jocelyne Couture, Kai Nielsen, and Michel Seymour, eds.: Rethinking NationalismCanadian Journal of Philosophy Supplementary Volume 22 (Calgary: University of Calgary Press 1998), 463–504; integrated into World Poverty and Human Rightsas chapter 5.

   Abstract: Normative variants of nationalism tend to involve one or both of the following views: Citizens and governments may, and perhaps should, show more concern for the survival and flourishing of their own state, culture, and compatriots than for the survival and flourishing of foreign states, cultures, and persons (common nationalism). Citizens and governments may, and perhaps should, show more concern for the justice of their own state and for injustice and other wrongs suffered by its members than for the justice of any foreign social systems and for injustice and other wrongs suffered by foreigners (lofty nationalism). The essay argues that both asserted priorities are importantly limited in scope and therefore do not justify actual international inequalities under existing conditions. Supporting the latter of these two conclusions requires debunking a third variant, explanatory nationalism — the view that oppression and poverty in our world are a set of national phenomena to be explained by reference to domestic factors such as bad political and economic institutions, incompetent economic policies, and “oppressive government and corrupt elites” (Rawls) in the so-called less developed countries.

Menschenrechte als moralische Ansprüche an globale Institutionen” in P. Koller and K. Puhl, eds.: Current Issues in Political Philosophy: Justice in Society and World Order (Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky 1997), 147–164, and (expanded) in Stefan Gosepath and Georg Lohmann, eds.: Philosophie der Menschenrechte (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 1998), 378–400, reprinted with revisions in Barbara Bleisch und Ursula Renz: Zu wenig. Dimensionen der Armut(Zürich: Seismo Verlag 2007), 137–159.  Ukrainian

   Abstract: The human rights declared by the United Nations in 1948 are today accepted almost universally, despite minor disputes about priorities and particular formulations. But, since each party to this impressive consensus tends to downplay its own responsibilities for the fulfillment of human rights, we need a clearer understanding of what the assertion of a human right entails. I propose to understand human rights as moral claims on social institutions and against (especially) their more influential and advantaged participants, who, together, impose these institutions coercively. We share then a moral responsibility not merely for the conduct of our government, but also for that of our fellow citizens, insofar as their conduct is enabled, encouraged, or even authorized by our social institutions. By acquiescing in a legal system that allows domestic violence, for example, one becomes co-responsible for the fact that many women in one’s society suffer inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 5) — even if one does not engage in such treatment oneself. And the same holds for global institutions as well: By acquiescing in a global economic order that encourages oppressive national regimes or produces massive poverty and starvation, one becomes co-responsible for the fact that many do not enjoy basic civil rights (Articles 3–13) or a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their families (Article 25). This understanding of how human rights entail responsibilities — which presuppose that there are practicable and reachable institutional alternatives under which human rights would be (much better) fulfilled — accords well with the Universal Declaration’s own self-conception: “Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized” (Article 28). It has two further advantages: It narrows the difference over whether a conception of human rights should primarily stress civil and political or rather social, economic and cultural rights. And it confirms the universality of human rights, because our global institutions can be shaped in only one way.

“A Global Resources Dividend” in David A. Crocker and Toby Linden, eds.: Ethics of Consumption: The Good Life, Justice, and Global Stewardship (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield 1997), 501–536.  abbreviated & updated version

   Abstract: We live in a world of radical inequality: Hundreds of millions suffer severe, lifelong poverty, causing some 18 Million early deaths annually from malnutrition and diseases that are very easy and cheap to cure. Many others are quite well off and affluent enough significantly to improve the lives of the global poor. Does this radical inequality constitute an injustice in which we are involved? An affirmative answer finds broad support in different strands of the Western moral tradition, which also support the same program of institutional reform. This reform centers around a Global Resources Dividend, or GRD. Humankind at large is to be viewed as owning a minority stake in the resources of this planet (including air, water and soil, which are used for the discharging of pollutants). As with preferred stock, this stake does not entitle everyone to participate in deciding how resources are to be used; this authority is to remain with the states in whose territory resources are located. But the stake does entitle all to a share of the economic benefits of resource utilization. Since the global poor are otherwise excluded from such a share, the funds raised through the GRD are to be spent on their emancipation. A GRD in the amount of one percent of the global social product would currently raise some $300 Billion a year. This amount is too small to lead to economic dislocation (it would even have positive effects by slowing resource depletion and pollution). But it is large enough to eradicate global poverty within one or two decades. Such a reform would, moreover, reassure the poor societies that they need not gain possession of dangerous technologies to have their basic needs taken seriously by the rich. And it could find broad support in different strands of the Western moral tradition: in forward-looking, consequentialist and contractualist approaches; in Lockean approaches that require that economic institutions render no one worse off than anyone would be in his state of nature with a proportionate resource share; and in backward-looking approaches that object to radical inequalities when these have arisen through a deeply tarnished historical process.

“On the Role of a Globally Sharable Core Conception of Basic Justice” in Our Creative Diversity — A Critical Perspective (Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO 1997), 37–50.

Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty” in Ethics 103/1 (October 1992), 48–75; reprinted in Chris Brown, ed.: Political Restructuring in Europe (London: Routledge 1994), 89–118; in Thom Brooks, ed.: The Global Justice Reader(Oxford: Blackwell 2008), 51–72; in Global Justice: Seminal Essays; in Garrett Wallace Brown and David Held, eds.: The Cosmopolitanism Reader (Cambridge: Polity Press 2010), 114–133; extract reprinted in Mervyn Frost, ed.:International Ethics (London: SAGE Publications 2011); and integrated into World Poverty and Human Rights as chapter 7.  German

   Abstract: Human rights are best understood as moral claims on social institutions — not on the conduct of governments or other actors (who, however, are jointly responsible for social arrangements). In our highly interdependent world, concern for human rights, so understood, must focus primarily on prevailing global arrangements which, directly and indirectly, have the most profound impact on living conditions worldwide. The resulting institutional moral cosmopolitanism would support global institutional reforms toward a vertical dispersal of sovereignty, with governmental authority and patriotic sentiment widely distributed over a plurality of nested territorial units. Such reforms would tend to increase prospects for peace, to reduce severe poverty and oppression, to enhance global democracy, and to stem ecological degradation.

An Institutional Approach to Humanitarian Intervention” in Public Affairs Quarterly 6/1 (January 1992), 89–103.

“International Relations as a Modus Vivendi” in Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the American Society for International Law (Washington, D.C.: American Society for International Law 1990), 426–439.

“Moral Progress” in Steven Luper-Foy, ed.: Problems of International Justice (Boulder: Westview Press 1988), 283–304.

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