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Global justice: cosmopolitanism, social liberalism, and the coercion view

Valentini, L.M.M.; (2008) Global justice: cosmopolitanism, social liberalism, and the coercion view. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis addresses a central question in the current philosophical debate on global justice: Can Rawlsian liberal principles of justice be coherently extended from the domestic to the global arena? My discussion of this question –which I call the 'question of extension' - is subdivided into three parts. In parts I and II, I critically analyse the two most prominent existing answers to it: the positive answer, championed by so-called cosmopolitans, and the negative one, championed by so-called social liberals. I show that these two answers encounter theoretical as well as practical difficulties, and argue that their inadequacies are traceable to methodological flaws in the two outlooks supporting them. In part Ill, I attempt to elaborate a new answer to the question of extension that avoids the theoretical and practical difficulties identified in parts I and II. Taking the lead from recent contributions to the global justice debate, I develop a deontological coercion-based approach to global justice. On this approach, principles of justice - at any level, global or domestic - place limits on how people may permissibly coerce one another (i.e., on how they may constrain one another's freedom) and apply to both interactional (direct) and systemic (indirect) coercion. I argue that this approach steers a middle course between cosmopolitanism and social liberalism without reproducing their difficulties, and provides a principled answer to the question of extension. On this 'coercion view', the applicability of principles of justice to the global arena depends on whether, and if so, how, coercion is exercised beyond state borders.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Global justice: cosmopolitanism, social liberalism, and the coercion view
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received

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