What Is Global Justice?

By seeing the problem of [global] poverty merely in terms of assistance, we overlook that our enormous economic advantage is deeply tainted by how it accumulated over the course of one historical process that has devastated the societies and cultures of four continents.

- Thomas Pogge, "Assisting" the Global Poor

Podcast of the Day

Thomas Pogge of Yale University discusses how richer countries can provide pharmaceutical products to poorer ones at reasonable prices and why they should do this as a matter of justice.

Listen to Tomas Pogge on Global Justice and Health

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Short Article of the Day

We are the 99 per cent!’ Many of us who have applauded those stirring words, beginning with the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, knew that the number was not precise, and was never intended to be. The slogan did not arise because someone calculated that 99 per cent was more accurate than 92 per cent or 85 per cent or 66 per cent. It arose because it seemed to capture the grossness of a prevailing inequality. The problem is that a global perspective almost reverses the figure. At the level of the planet as a whole, Londoners and New Yorkers and Sydneysiders who proclaim ‘We are the 99 per cent’ are in fact much more likely to belong if not to the 1 per cent, then certainly to the top 10 per cent. 

Innumerable observers have noted that the so-called developed world accounts for a disproportionate share of the world’s resources. The rich in global terms are relatively few in number, but they punch above their population weight in terms of consumption of goods and services, as well as the production of toxic wastes. Internationally speaking, the official statistics on mortality rates and childhood malnourishment are similarly out of whack. As the economist Branko Milanovic has been insisting for decades, inequality within nations, bad as it is, pales in comparison with inequality between nations...

Continue reading Bruce Robbins article: How Orwell used wartime rationing to argue for global justice

Further Reading

On common accounts, we have a state of justice when everyone has their due. The study of justice has been concerned with what we owe one another, what obligations we might have to treat each other fairly in a range of domains, including over distributive and recognitional matters. Contemporary political philosophers had focused their theorizing about justice almost exclusively within the state, but the last twenty years or so has seen a marked extension to the global sphere, with a huge expansion in the array of topics covered. While some, such as matters of just conduct in war, have long been of concern, others are more recent and arise especially in the context of contemporary phenomena like intensified globalization, economic integration and potentially catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.

John Rawls’s Law of Peoples was an especially important work and greatly stimulated thinking about different models of global justice (Rawls 1999). Several questions soon became prominent in discussions including: What principles should guide international action? What responsibilities do we have to the global poor? Should global inequality be morally troubling? Are there types of non-liberal people who should be tolerated? What kind of foreign policy is consistent with liberal values? Is a “realistic utopia” possible in the global domain? How might we transition effectively towards a less unjust world?...

Continue reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Global Justice by Gillian Brock

Related Topics

If you’re interested in global justice, check out some of the following related topics for more resources:

 CapitalismColonialismEconomic Inequality | Effective Altruism | Ethics | Freedom | Globalization | Human Rights | Justice | Nationalism | Political Philosophy | War

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