Justice, Cosmopolitanism and Policy Prescription: Gillian Brock’s "Global Justice"

Diametros 31:138-145 (2012)

Cindy Holder
University of Victoria
In Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account Gillian Brock makes three important claims: that we have duties of justice to all human beings and not only those with whom we share a state; that our duties to those outside our states are of the same scope and normative weight as our duties to those with whom we share a state; and that the existing framework of international institutions affords us a number of straightforward and accessible means to act on our duties to persons outside our states that we ought to pursue. These claims are important in themselves, but the real interest of Brock’s book lies with the argumentative strategy she uses in support of them. This strategy, which includes emphasizing the compellingness of specific institutional and policy prescriptions and distancing her arguments from debates about the structure and plausibility of Rawlsian internationalism, bears interesting fruit in a number of respects. However, it also raises difficult questions about the coherence of the distinction between cosmopolitanism and nationalism on which Brock relies, and about the value of institutionalist approaches to justice more generally.
Keywords Brock  global justice  cosmopolitanism  human rights  nationalism  Kymlicka  international institutions
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