Obligations beyond national borders: International institutions and distributive justice

Journal of Global Ethics 4 (1):67 – 78 (2008)
Abstract
Recent scholarship has tied duties of distributive justice to the existence of coercive institutions. This body of work argues that, because the international system lacks institutions that can coerce individuals in the same manner as domestic institutions, there are no international obligations to address relative poverty and inequality. Proponents of this view use it to support the existence of a compatriot preference that requires us to meet the needs of compatriots before meeting those of the global poor. Even supposing distributive justice to be linked to coercion, coercive institutions do exist at the international level. These institutions coerce states rather than individuals, but their ability to coerce gives rise to duties of economic redistribution between states
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