Global economy, justice and sustainability

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (4):399 - 415 (2004)
Although this paper attends to some extent to the question whether the global economy promotes or impedes either justice or sustainability, its main focus is on the relationship between justice and sustainability. Whilst sustainability itself as a normative goal is about sustaining inter alia justice, justice itself requires intergenerationally the sustaining of the conditions of a good life for all. At the heart of this is a conception of justice as realising the basic rights of all–in contrast to a more demanding distributive principle or a less demanding principle of not violating the liberty rights or other basic rights of others. Although Pogges analysis that the global economy causes harm by failing to realise basic rights is seen as a useful challenge to common libertarian assumptions, the acceptance of other positive correlative duties, following Shue, is advocated. Insofar as the global economy fails to realise basic justice, the question is how far can it realistically be changed? and this is a function partly of the moral attitudes of individuals at large.
Keywords development  environment  future generations  global economy  justice  liberty  needs  positive/negative rights  subsistence  sustainability
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