Global egalitarianism

Philosophy Compass 4 (1):155-171 (2009)
Abstract
To whom is egalitarian justice owed? Our fellow citizens, or all of humankind? If the latter, what form might a global brand of egalitarianism take? This paper examines some recent debates about the justification, and content, of global egalitarian justice. It provides an account of some keenly argued controversies about the scope of egalitarian justice, between those who would restrict it to the level of the state and those who would extend it more widely. It also notes the cross-cutting distinction between relationists (whose views on scope are derived from a belief about which relations, practices or institutions give rise to the demands of equality) and non-relationists (who place no such importance on empirical facts about the relations between individuals). Beyond this, it sets out some of the different principles that might flow from a commitment to global egalitarianism. One of the key goals is to highlight the increasing diversity within debates on global justice, so that even those with a shared commitment to global equality may espouse different views about the justifications for equality, as well as the nature of, and proper sites for, egalitarian principles
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