HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights, Global Affairs and Philosophy


Nobody has offered such a comprehensive philosophical approach to trade. Nonetheless, James's approach does not succeed. First, we explore James's constructivist method, which does less work than he suggests. The second topic is James's take on the different 'grounds' of justice. We explore the shortcomings of approaches that focus exclusively on trade. Our third topic is why James thinks trade is such a ground. The fourth topic is how James argues for his proposed 'structural equity.' This proposal remains under-argued. Our fifth topic is to explore why structural equity would generate several specific principles. Finally, we discuss James's notion of autarky. Autarky sets the benchmark for James's ideas about how to divide gains of trade. We doubt that it can do so.


Risse, Mathias, and Gabriel Wollner. "Critical Fairness in Practice: A Social Notice of Aaron James, Contract for a Global Economy." Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43.3 (2013): 382-401.