Justice beyond borders

Res Publica 10 (2):107-113 (2004)
Abstract
Liberal theories of social justicefocus predominantly on the national, ratherthan international, level, and where they doaddress international concerns they insist thatprinciples of justice at the national levelhave priority over principles at theinternational level. We question the coherenceof this arrangement, given liberal theory'scommitment to moral equality of persons as suchrather than to that of particular sets of persons. What isat issue is whether liberal theory can providea coherent basis for international justice atall. If it is to do so, we suggest that it mustbe prepared to theorise beyond the nationstate, and to take a historical perspectivewhich takes into account the ways in whichcolonial power and exploitation have given riseto the problems of international justice weface today.
Keywords international justice  liberal theory  membership  nation state
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