Mathias Risse
Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy
John F. Kennedy School of Government



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On Global Justice
By Mathias Risse

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Now available at Princeton University Press and on Amazon. Debates about global justice have traditionally fallen into two camps. Statists believe that principles of justice can only be held among those who share a state. Those who fall outside this realm are merely owed charity. Cosmopolitans, on the other hand, believe that justice applies equally among all human beings. On Global Justice offers a new theory of global distributive justice—what I call pluralist internationalism--where in different contexts, different principles of justice apply. Arguing that statists and cosmopolitans seek overarching answers to problems that vary too widely for one single justice relationship, I explore who should have how much of what we all need and care about, ranging from income and rights to spaces and resources of the earth. Especially demanding redistributive principles apply among those who share a country, but those who share a country also have obligations of justice to those who do not because of a universal humanity, common political and economic orders, humanity’s common ownership of the earth, and a linked global trading system. Inquiries about humanity’s common ownership of the earth give insights into immigration, obligations to future generations, and obligations arising from climate change. I consider issues such as fairness in trade, responsibilities of the WTO, intellectual property rights, labor rights, whether there ought to be states at all, and global inequality. I also develop a new foundational theory of human rights. Now available in Palgrave’s Philosophy Today series and on Amazon. Introductions to political philosophy normally focus mostly or entirely on domestic questions. This introduction is concerned with questions of global scope throughout. This book focuses on normative questions that arise about globalization. Much social science research is devoted to exploring the political, legal, social and economic changes that occur all around us. This books offers an introductory treatment of the philosophical questions that arise about these changes. Why would people have human rights? We will be looking at different answers to this question. Could there be a universal morality in the first place? This question captures a particular kind of skepticism that has also been applied to the human rights movement and needs to be addresses for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be intellectually credible. Ought there to be states? Perhaps there are more appropriate ways of organizing humanity politically. What does distributive justice require at the global level? The world in which we live is one of a striking inequality that challenges us to explore what a just world would look like. What does justice require of us with regard to climate change? We now live in a geological era sometimes called the Anthropocene: it is human action that has the biggest impact on the future of all life. How should we think about fairness in trade? Trade, after all, ties people together around the world. And what does justice imply for immigration policy? Each of these questions is answered in its own chapter.



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