Brock’s Cosmopolitanism: Sensible but Incomplete

Diametros 31 (31):146-156 (2012)
Cosmopolitanism is a form of egalitarianism about global justice. Egalitarians hold that economic inequalities are justifiable only under limited conditions. Cosmopolitans, like Brock, embrace basic principles of distributive justice that apply to all human beings. Their opponents, sometimes called liberal nationalists, are also egalitarians but limit the scope of egalitarian justice to cooperating members of a society. Outsiders are owed help to lead minimally decent lives but these are humanitarians obligations, not obligations of distributive justice. Brock’s defense of cosmopolitanism is thoughtful and sensitive but appears to be too weak. Her basic principle of distributive justice appears to allow more inequality than cosmopolitans can accept. Liberal nationalists defend preference for fellow citizens and Brock seems not to have done a fully adequate job answering their arguments, especially their appeal to reciprocity among citizens. It’s therefore difficult to know where Brock stands on some of the crucial issues about global justice.
Keywords egalitarianism  global justice  humanitarianism  liberal nationalism  reciprocity
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