Is global justice a mirage?

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    Abstract

    Chandran Kukathas has argued that 'the political pursuit of global justice is not a worthy goal, and that our aims in establishing international legal and political institutions should be more modest'. In this article I will examine Kukathas's argument, and argue in turn that he is mistaken to decry the efforts of those who press for global justice. Despite Kukathas's professed support for international law and cosmopolitanism, and his concern about global inequality and other injustices, he argues that we should forswear the use of political power and political reform to secure the former or address the latter. Instead, Kukathas points us towards the possibility of a future global convergence on moral standards, which, despite being belied by his focus on human diversity, he seems to view as a prerequisite for political activity towards global justice. Kukathas is mistaken in his arguments about the relationship between power and justice, and this leads him to false conclusions about the role that political reform and political institutions should play in consideration of global injustice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)145-157
    Number of pages13
    JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
    Volume17
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • Cosmopolitanism
    • Human rights
    • Justice
    • Pluralism
    • Toleration

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