Global Justice and Globalisation: Shrinking Distance, Expanding Obligations
Globalization is shrinking distance and bringing people around the world into closer contact. International rules and institutions are expanding rapidly. Does the fact that the world is becoming more interconnected change individuals’ and institutions’ duties to people beyond borders? Does globalization alone create any ethical obligations? This symposium session on Nicole Hassoun’s Globalization and Global Justice will address some of these questions from several different perspectives. The selected participants Cara Nine, Richard Childs, Marcus Arvan, Meena Krishnamurthy, and Peter Stone consider themes in the book to explore the nature and extent of obligations to those beyond borders and how these obligations change in light of globalization. They also consider what resulting accounts of global justice can tell us about several important public policies e.g. policies to promote free trade, fair trade, and foreign aid. In particular, the contributors address questions about the scope, grounds, character, and consequences of obligations to those beyond borders in light of globalization. Questions of scope concern whether or not there are obligations of properly global justice at all. Perhaps there are no significant duties to aid those beyond borders, despite the impacts of globalization. Alternately, any such duties may be purely humanitarian or be better characterized in other terms (e.g. international institutions may have to be legitimate but not fully just). Questions about what grounds obligations beyond borders in light of globalization address whether such obligations arise out of a concern for human interests, autonomy, reciprocity, coercion or something else. Questions about the character of these obligations focus on how extensive they are: Is it just the case that everyone should meet some minimal needs or rights threshold? Or, in this globalizing world, must we aim for global equality of opportunity or outcome? Finally, panelists consider questions about the import of obligations beyond borders such as: Do obligations of global justice or legitimacy apply to international institutions like the World Bank or World Trade Organization? Should those who are concerned about global justice support or protest against free trade or foreign aid? How can we ensure equal opportunity or protect human rights or interests in light of globalization?