In this article, we propose the Fair Priority Model for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and emphasize three fundamental values we believe should be considered when distributing a COVID-19 vaccine among countries: Benefiting people and limiting harm, prioritizing the disadvantaged, and equal moral concern for all individuals. The Priority Model addresses these values by focusing on mitigating three types of harms caused by COVID-19: death and permanent organ damage, indirect health consequences, such as health care system strain and stress, as well as (...) economic destruction. It proposes proceeding in three phases: the first addresses premature death, the second long-term health issues and economic harms, and the third aims to contain viral transmission fully and restore pre-pandemic activity. -/- To those who may deem an ethical framework irrelevant because of the belief that many countries will pursue "vaccine nationalism," we argue such a framework still has broad relevance. Reasonable national partiality would permit countries to focus on vaccine distribution within their borders up until the rate of transmission is below 1, at which point there would not be sufficient vaccine-preventable harm to justify retaining a vaccine. When a government reaches the limit of national partiality, it should release vaccines for other countries. -/- We also argue against two other recent proposals. Distributing a vaccine proportional to a country's population mistakenly assumes that equality requires treating differently situated countries identically. Prioritizing countries according to the number of front-line health care workers, the proportion of the population over 65, and the number of people with comorbidities within each country may exacerbate disadvantage and end up giving the vaccine in large part to wealthy nations. (shrink)
Do we have the right to deny others access to our body? What if this would harm those who need personal services or body parts from us? Ccile Fabre examines the impact that arguments for distributive justice have on the rights we have over ourselves, and on such contentious issues as organ sales, prostitution, and surrogate motherhood.
This book articulates a cosmopolitan theory of the principles which ought to regulate belligerents' conduct in the aftermath of war. Throughout, it relies on the fundamental principle that all human beings, wherever they reside, have rights to the freedoms and resources which they need to lead a flourishing life, and that national and political borders are largely irrelevant to the conferral of those rights. With that principle in hand, the book provides a normative defence of restitutive and reparative justice, the (...) punishment of war criminals, the resort to transitional foreign administration as a means to govern war-torn territories, and the deployment of peacekeeping and occupation forces. It also outlines various reconciliatory and commemorative practices which might facilitate the emergence of trust amongst enemies and thereby improve prospects for peace. The book offers analytical arguments and normative conclusions, with many historical and/or contemporary examples. (shrink)
International law and conventional morality grant that states may stand ready to defend their borders with lethal force. But what grounds the permission to kill for the sake of political sovereignty and territorial integrity? In this book leading theorists address this vexed issue, and set the terms of future debate over national defence.
The book theoretically examines the recent and topical debates over democracy and social rights, arguing that there are four fundamental rights that should be constitutionalized; minimum income; housing; healthcare; and education. The theoretical discussion is explored within an analysis of important legal cases.
COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be scarce for years to come. Many countries, from India to the U.K., have demonstrated vaccine nationalism. What are the ethical limits to this vaccine nationalism? Neither extreme nationalism nor extreme cosmopolitanism is ethically justifiable. Instead, we propose the fair priority for residents framework, in which governments can retain COVID-19 vaccine doses for their residents only to the extent that they are needed to maintain a noncrisis level of mortality while they are implementing reasonable public (...) health interventions. Practically, a noncrisis level of mortality is that experienced during a bad influenza season, which society considers an acceptable background risk. Governments take action to limit mortality from influenza, but there is no emergency that includes severe lockdowns. This “flu-risk standard” is a nonarbitrary and generally accepted heuristic. Mortality above the flu-risk standard justifies greater governmental interventions, including retaining vaccines for a country's own citizens over global need. The precise level of vaccination needed to meet the flu-risk standard will depend upon empirical factors related to the pandemic. This links the ethical principles to the scientific data emerging from the emergency. Thus, the FPR framework recognizes that governments should prioritize procuring vaccines for their country when doing so is necessary to reduce mortality to noncrisis flu-like levels. But after that, a government is obligated to do its part to share vaccines to reduce risks of mortality for people in other countries. We consider and reject objections to the FPR framework based on a country: having developed a vaccine, raising taxes to pay for vaccine research and purchase, wanting to eliminate economic and social burdens, and being ineffective in combating COVID-19 through public health interventions. (shrink)
All parties involved in researching, developing, manufacturing, and distributing COVID-19 vaccines need guidance on their ethical obligations. We focus on pharmaceutical companies' obligations because their capacities to research, develop, manufacture, and distribute vaccines make them uniquely placed for stemming the pandemic. We argue that an ethical approach to COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution should satisfy four uncontroversial principles: optimising vaccine production, including development, testing, and manufacturing; fair distribution; sustainability; and accountability. All parties' obligations should be coordinated and mutually consistent. For (...) instance, companies should not be obligated to provide host countries with additional booster shots at the expense of fulfilling bilateral contracts with countries in which there are surges. Finally, any satisfactory approach should include mechanisms for assurance that all parties are honouring their obligations. This assurance enables countries, pharmaceutical companies, global organisations, and others to verify compliance with the chosen approach and protect ethically compliant stakeholders from being unfairly exploited by unethical behaviour of others. (shrink)
Just war theorists who argue that war is morally justified under certain circumstances infer implicitly that establishing the military institutions needed to wage war is also morally justified. In this paper, I mount a case in favor of a standing military establishment: to the extent that going to war is a way to discharge duties to protect fellow citizens and distant strangers from grievous harms, we have a duty to set up the institutions that enable us to discharge that duty. (...) I then respond to four objections drawn from Ned Dobos's recent book Ethics, Security, and the War-Machine. (shrink)
Should governments give special rights to ethnic and cultural minorities? Should rich countries open their borders to economic immigrants or transfer resources to poor countries? When framing and implementing economic and environmental policies, should current generations take into account the interests of future generations? If our political community committed a wrong against another group a hundred years ago, do we owe reparations to current members of that group? These are just some of the pressing questions which are fully explored in (...) this accessible new analysis of justice in the contemporary world. They force us to reconsider the extent of our obligations to our fellow citizens, future generations and foreigners. Justice in a Changing World introduces the moral debates around issues such as immigration, national self-determination, cultural rights and reparations, as well as resource transfers from one generation to the next and from rich to poor countries, through the lenses of liberalism, communitarianism and libertarianism. In so doing, it helps to unravel the complexity of key ethical dilemmas facing us today. The book will be a valuable resource for students of political theory, and will appeal to anyone wishing to reflect on their deepest values and commitments by putting them to the test of practical politics. (shrink)
Many believe that agent-centred considerations, unlike agent-neutral reasons, cannot show that victims have the right to kill their attackers in self-defence, let alone establish that rescuers have the right to come to their help. In this paper, I argue that the right to kill in self- or other-defence is best supported by a hybrid set of reasons. In particular, agent-centred considerations account for the plausible intuition that victims have a special stake, which other parties lack, in being to thwart the (...) attackers. That special stake plays an important part justifying victims' right to obtain help, and rescuers' right to give it. (shrink)
This article argues that we must sever the ethics of war termination from the ethics of war initiation: a belligerent who embarks on a just war at time t1 might be under a duty to sue for peace at t2 before it has achieved its just war aims; conversely, a belligerent who embarks on an unjust war at t1 might acquire a justification for continuing at t2. In the course of making that argument, the article evaluates the various ways in (...) which belligerents end their wars. (shrink)
In his recent Rescuing Justice and Equality, G. A. Cohen mounts a sustained critique of coerced labour, against the background of a radical egalitarian conception of distributive justice. In this article, I argue that Cohenian egalitarians are committed to holding the talented under a moral duty to choose socially useful work for the sake of the less fortunate. As I also show, Cohen's arguments against coerced labour fail, particularly in the light of his commitment to coercive taxation. In the course (...) of defending those claims, I claim that Cohen's remarks on freedom of occupational choice and taxation exhibit partiality towards the interests of the better-off to the detriment of the less fortunate – a partiality which is in tension with his commitment to equality. (shrink)
Treason is one of the most serious legal offences that there are, in most if not all jurisdictions. Laws against treason are rooted in deep-seated moral revulsion about acts which, in the political realm, are paradigmatic examples of breaches of loyalty. Yet, it is not altogether clear what treason consists in: someone’s traitor is often another’s loyalist. In this paper, my aim is twofold: to offer a plausible conceptual account of treason, and to partly rehabilitate traitors. I focus on informational (...) treason, as the act of passing secret intelligence to foreign actors without authorization. I argue that informational treason is sometimes justified, indeed morally mandatory; even when it is morally wrong, its beneficiaries are sometimes justified, indeed obliged, to make use of the intelligence thereby provided. (shrink)
A good deal of political theory over the last fifteen years or so has been shaped by the realization that one cannot, and ought not, consider the distribution of resources within a country in isolation from the distribution of resources between countries. Thus, thinkers such as Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge advocate extensive global distributive policies; others, such as Charles Jones and David Miller, explicitly reject the view that egalitarian principles of justice should apply globally and claim that national communities (...) have only duties to help other countries be viable economically and meet the basic needs of their members. In the global justice debate, pretty much all parties acknowledge that we have obligations of distributive justice to for-eigners. The question is how strong those obligations are, and in particular whether national boundaries can make any difference to the distribution of resources between members of different countries. (shrink)
At least since Athenian trade sanctions helped to spark the Peloponnesian War, economic coercion has been a prominent tool of foreign policy. In the modern era, sovereign states and multilateral institutions have imposed economic sanctions on dictatorial regimes or would-be nuclear powers as an alternative to waging war. They have conditioned offers of aid, loans, and debt relief on recipients’ willingness to implement market and governance reforms. Such methods interfere in freedom of trade and the internal affairs of sovereign states, (...) yet are widely used as a means to advance human rights. But are they morally justifiable? -/- Drawing on human rights theories, theories of justifiable harm, and examples such as IMF lending practices and international sanctions on Russia and North Korea, Fabre offers a defense of economic statecraft in some of its guises. An empirically attuned work of philosophy, Economic Statecraft lays out a normative framework for an important tool of diplomacy. (shrink)
According to the doxastic wrongs thesis, holding certain beliefs about others can be morally wrongful. Beliefs which take the form of stereotypes based on race and gender and which turn out to be false and are negatively valenced are prime candidates for the charge of doxastic wronging: it is no coincidence that most of the cases discussed in the literature involve false beliefs. My aim in this paper is to show that the thesis of doxastic wrongs does not turn on (...) the truth-value or valence of beliefs. (shrink)
In his recent book Killing in War, McMahan develops a powerful argument for the view that soldiers on opposite sides of a conflict are not morally on a par once the war has started: whether they have the right to kill depends on the justness of their war. In line with just war theory in general, McMahan scrutinizes the ethics of killing the enemy. In this article, I accept McMahan's account, but bring it to bear on the entirely neglected, but (...) nevertheless interesting, issue of what the military call killings or, as I refer to such acts here, internecine war killings. I focus on the case of the soldier who is ordered by his officer, at gunpoint, to go into action or to kill innocent civilians, and who kills his officer in self-defence. I argue that, at the bar of McMahan's account of the right to kill in self-defence, the officer lacks a justification for attacking the soldier as a means of enforcing his order, and the soldier thus sometimes (but not always) has the right to kill his officer should the latter so act. (shrink)
The recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been characterized by the deployment of large private military forces, under contract with the US administration. The use of so-called private military corporations and, more generally, of mercenaries, has long attracted criticisms. This article argues that under certain conditions, there is nothing inherently objectionable about mercenarism. It begins by exposing a weakness in the most obvious justification for mercenarism, to wit, the justification from freedom of occupational choice. It then deploys a less (...) obvious, but stronger, argument – one that appeals to the importance of enabling just defensive killings. Finally, it rebuts five moral objections to mercenarism. (shrink)
It is a central tenet of most contemporary theories of justice that the badly-off have a right to some of the resources of the well-off. In this paper, I take as my starting point two principles of justice, to wit, the principle of sufficiency, whereby individuals have a right to the material resources they need in order to lead a decent life, and the principle of autonomy, whereby once everybody has such a life, individuals should be allowed to pursue their (...) conception of the good, and to enjoy the fruits of their labour in pursuit of such conception. I also endorse the value of fairness, whereby the right person or institution makes the decision as to whether to bring about justice.I show that justice and fairness can be satisfied only if we all enjoy a combination of private and collective rights over the world. In making that case, I shall argue that the set of ownership rights I advocate differs from readily available conceptions of restricted private ownership in two important respects. First, it is such that in some circumstances, two individuals or more can have control rights over the same property at the same time, not, as is standardly the case in legal systems, by contracting with one another (through gifts and joint purchase), but simply on grounds of justice. Second, it allows that, if necessary, property-owners be expropriated from their property without compensation. (shrink)
Liberal theorists of justice hardly ever study duties of Good Samaritanism. This is not to say that they regard a failure to be a Good Samaritan as morally acceptable: indeed, most of them think that it is morally wrong. But they tend not to think that it is morally wrong on the grounds that it constitutes a violation of a duty of justice. Rather, they condemn it as a failure to perform a duty of charity, or as a failure to (...) be appropriately altruistic. By contrast, they condemn as a violation of a duty of justice a failure to give to the poor the material resources they need. My aim, in this essay, is to show that if liberals are committed to the view that the needy have a right, as a matter of justice, to some of the material resources of the better off, they must endorse the view that the imperilled have a right, as a matter of justice, th the bodily services of those who are in a position to help. In short, or so I argue, Good Samaritan Duties are not a matter of Charity; nor are they a matter of altruism; rather, they firmly fall within the purview of justice. I make my case as follows. First, I rebut the claim that those are duties of charity, and not of justice. Second, I argue, pace many, that we owe it to the imperilled themselves, as a matter of justice, to rescue them: we do not owe it to society as a whole. Finally, I show, against a number of theorists, that such duty can and should be enforced by the state. (shrink)
The question of Judith Butler's ‘politics’ and their normative justification has been raised by critics and supporters alike for some time. The number of recent texts dedicated to this topic suggests that it remains an unresolved and still pressing question. I argue that in order to identify and evaluate the political implications of Butler's work, we must first recognize the relationship and distinction between four vectors of her thinking: her diagnosis of the human condition, her expression of specific normative aspirations, (...) her defense of a distinct ethical comportment and finally her theory of political engagement. I conclude that Butler implicitly counsels the cultivation of certain ethical dispositions, including generosity, humility, patience and restraint, as part of a practice of preparing to engage in a kind of politics that breaks radically with the mastery- and sovereignty-seeking variety all too familiar to us in contemporary times. (shrink)
It is a central tenet of most contemporary theories of justice that the badly-off have a right to some of the resources of the well-off. In this paper, I take as my starting point two principles of justice, to wit, the principle of sufficiency, whereby individuals have a right to the material resources they need in order to lead a decent life, and the principle of autonomy, whereby once everybody has such a life, individuals should be allowed to pursue their (...) conception of the good, and to enjoy the fruits of their labour in pursuit of such conception. I also endorse the value of fairness, whereby the right person or institution makes the decision as to whether to bring about justice. I show that justice and fairness can be satisfied only if we all enjoy a combination of private and collective rights over the world. In making that case, I shall argue that the set of ownership rights I advocate differs from readily available conceptions of restricted private ownership in two important respects. First, it is such that in some circumstances, two individuals or more can have control rights over the same property at the same time, not, as is standardly the case in legal systems, by contracting with one another, but simply on grounds of justice. Second, it allows that, if necessary, property-owners be expropriated from their property without compensation. (shrink)
This paper argues that, if one thinks that the needy have a right to the material resources they need in order to lead decent lives, one must be committed, in some cases, to conferring on the sick a right that the healthy give them some of the body parts they need to lead such a life. I then assess two objections against that view, to wit: to confer on the sick a right to the live body parts of the healthy (...) violates the bodily integrity of the latter; and constitutes too much of an interference in their life. I conclude that although the sick sometimes have a right to some of the body parts of the healthy, the latter still retain a considerable degree of autonomy. (shrink)
It is hard to do justice, in a short reply, to Eyal's excellent review. Accordingly, I will focus on what I take to be its central claim – namely that I fail to give proper consideration to the extent to which the forced extraction of body parts undermines individuals' opportunities for self-respect. According to Eyal, ‘body exceptionalism’ can be defended on the following grounds: ‘People usually see trespass into a person and into objects they associate with a person – especially (...) into a person's body – as utterly disrespectful towards that person and her autonomy’ . And later: ‘Whether or not organ confiscation is truly disrespectful . . . its widespread and intractable perception as a humiliating violation counts heavily against it, because it can thwart opportunities for self-respect’. (shrink)
In _The Morality of Defensive Force_, Quong defends a powerful account of the grounds and conditions under which an agent may justifiably inflict serious harm on another person. In this paper, I examine Quong's account of the necessity constraint on permissible harming—the RESCUE account. I argue that RESCUE does not succeed. Section 2 describes RESCUE. Section 3 raises some worries about Quong's conceptual construal of the right to be rescued and its attendant duties. Section 4 argues that RESCUE does not (...) deliver the verdicts that Quong wants. In those sections, I assume that the attacker is culpable for the threat he poses. Section 5 considers cases where the attacker, though responsible for the wrongful threat he poses and therefore liable to defensive force, has an epistemic justification for acting as he does and thus is not morally culpable. In his discussion of necessity, Quong does not explicitly deal with such cases. I suggest that RESCUE does not operate in the same way when attackers are mistaken as when they are morally culpable. (shrink)
Cécile Fabre draws back the curtain on the ethics of espionage and counterintelligence. In a book rich with historical examples she argues that spying is only justified to protect against ongoing violations of fundamental rights. Blackmail, bribery, mass surveillance, cyberespionage, treason, and other nefarious activities are considered.
In his review of my book Whose Body is It Anyway, Wilkinson criticises the view (which I defend) that confiscating live body parts for the sake of the needy is (under some circumstances) a requirement of justice. Wilkinson makes the following three points: (a) the confiscation thesis is problematic on its own terms; (b) there is a way to justify coercive resource transfers without being committed to it; (c) the thesis rests on a highly questionable approach to the status of (...) the body. Wilkinson’s paper is challenging, and some of his points are well taken. On the whole, however, it does not constitute an insurmountable challenge for my thesis. (shrink)
This paper raises some questions about Biggar’s accounts of the just cause and proportionality criteria for a just war. With respect to just cause, it argues that Biggar is committed to a broader range of justifications for war than one might think. Regarding proportionality, it claims that his account thereof invites reflection on the morality of conscription, and, more important still, given the book’s main aim—to refute Christian pacifism—in fact should lead him to embrace pacifism.