Citizenship, egalitarianism and global justice

Many of the foremost defenders of distributive egalitarianism hold that its scope should be limited to co-citizens. But this bracketing of distributive equality exclusively to citizens turns out to be very difficult to defend. Pressure is placed on it, for instance, when we recognize its vulnerability to ?extension arguments? which attempt to cast the net of egalitarian concern more widely. The paper rehearses those arguments and also examines some ? ultimately unsuccessful ? responses which ?citizenship egalitarians? might make. If it does turn out that citizenship egalitarianism cannot be defended, then two options are open to its adherents: to modify that position substantially in order to embrace at least some global egalitarian components, or to argue for a reorganization of citizenship regimes in such a way that citizenship might properly track the subjects of egalitarian justice. Both are radical options. Finally, the paper then briefly considers one way in which an attenuated form of citizenship egalitarianism might still be defended.
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DOI 10.1080/13698230.2011.617121
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Thomas Nagel (2005). The Problem of Global Justice. Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (2):113–147.
John Rawls (2009). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.

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