Fairness, Distributive Justice and Global Justice

Abstract

In this paper I discuss justice in the distribution of resources, both within states and across different states. On one influential view, it is always unjust for one person to have less than another through no fault of her own. State borders, on this account, have no importance in determining which distributions are just. I show that an alternative approach is needed. I argue that distributions of wealth are only unjust in so far as they issue from unfair treatment. It follows that not all inequalities in the distribution of goods are unjust. I use these results to explain how state borders do play a role in determining which inequalities are unjust, since some of these inequalities issue from unfair treatment of citizens by the state.

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