Journal of Ethics 9 (1-2):201-224 (2005)

Omar Dahbour
Hunter College (CUNY)
Debates about global justice tend to assume normative models of global community without justifying them explicitly. These models are divided between those that advocate a borderless world and those that emphasize the self-sufficiency of smaller political communities. In the first case, there are conceptions of a community of trade and a community of law. In the second case, there are ideas of a community of nation-states and of a community of autonomous communities. The nation-state model, however, is not easily justified and is one that has been criticized extensively elsewhere. The model of a community of trade underlies both advocates of market-oriented development and exponents of global schemes of redistribution of resources and incomes. I analyze the work of Charles Beitz, Peter Singer, and Thomas Pogge to show that the assumption that global interdependence is beneficial is poorly justified. The model of a community of law, as seen in the work of Henry Shue and others, is the basis for arguments against state sovereignty and in favor of international human rights regimes. I argue that this model suffers either from a problem of practicability or of hegemony. Finally, the model of a community of autonomous communities uses notions of patriotism and sovereignty to maintain that disengagement and independence are the best routes to global peace and justice.
Keywords global justice  international law  patriotism  peace  sovereignty  sustainability
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Reprint years 2005
DOI 10.1007/s10892-004-3326-7
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