Ethics and International Affairs 35 (1):119-144 (2021)

Arguments about the ownership of natural resources have focused on the claims of cosmopolitans, who urge an equality of global claims to resources, and resource sovereigntists, who argue that national peoples are the proper owners of their resources. This focus is mistaken: Whatever one believes about the in-principle claims of the global community, there remains the practical question of how the national surplus is to be distributed. And in addressing this question, we must look at a distinction heretofore ignored in resource discussions—that between resident workers and citizens. I argue that the extracted value of natural resources should benefit all residents of the states in which they are found, not merely all citizens. By contrast, control of natural resources should be vested in a democratic citizenry, who are nonetheless normatively constrained by the distributive principle described above. I illustrate the argument with data showing the gap, especially in the Gulf States, between principles that allocate benefits to all citizens vs. to all resident workers. My argument is grounded in a broader theory of collective agency as it applies to questions of distributive justice, and it is aimed not only to criticize practices in the Gulf but to support the more inclusive resource policies found in democracies.
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DOI 10.1017/s0892679421000095
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World Poverty and Human Rights.Thomas Pogge - 2002 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4):455-458.
Blood Oil. A Précis.Leif Wenar - forthcoming - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche.
The Right to Private Property.Jeremy Waldron & Stephen A. Munzer - 1992 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 21 (2):196-206.

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