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Laura Valentini
King's College London
Laura Valentini
Oxford University
  1. Ideal Vs. Non‐Ideal Theory: A Conceptual Map.Laura Valentini - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):654-664.
    This article provides a conceptual map of the debate on ideal and non‐ideal theory. It argues that this debate encompasses a number of different questions, which have not been kept sufficiently separate in the literature. In particular, the article distinguishes between the following three interpretations of the ‘ideal vs. non‐ideal theory’ contrast: full compliance vs. partial compliance theory; utopian vs. realistic theory; end‐state vs. transitional theory. The article advances critical reflections on each of these sub‐debates, and highlights areas for future (...)
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  2.  42
    Global Justice and the Role of the State: A Critical Survey.Laura Valentini & Miriam Ronzoni - 2020 - In Thom Brooks (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Global Justice. New York, NY, USA:
    Reference to the state is ubiquitous in debates about global justice. Some authors see the state as central to the justification of principles of justice, and thereby reject their extension to the international realm. Others emphasize its role in the implementation of those principles. This chapter scrutinizes the variety of ways in which the state figures in the global-justice debate. Our discussion suggests that, although the state should have a prominent role in theorizing about global justice, contrary to what is (...)
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  3. On the Apparent Paradox of Ideal Theory.Laura Valentini - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (3):332-355.
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  4. Freedom as Independence.Christian List & Laura Valentini - 2016 - Ethics 126 (4):1043–1074.
    Much recent philosophical work on social freedom focuses on whether freedom should be understood as non-interference, in the liberal tradition associated with Isaiah Berlin, or as non-domination, in the republican tradition revived by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner. We defend a conception of freedom that lies between these two alternatives: freedom as independence. Like republican freedom, it demands the robust absence of relevant constraints on action. Unlike republican, and like liberal freedom, it is not moralized. We show that freedom as (...)
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  5.  24
    What Normative Facts Should Political Theory Be About? Philosophy of Science Meets Political Liberalism.Laura Valentini & Christian List - 2020 - In David Sobel, Steven Wall & Peter Vallentyne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: pp. 185-220.
    Just as different sciences deal with different facts—say, physics versus biology—so we may ask a similar question about normative theories. Is normative political theory concerned with the same normative facts as moral theory or different ones? By developing an analogy with the sciences, we argue that the normative facts of political theory belong to a higher— more coarse-grained—level than those of moral theory. The latter are multiply realizable by the former: competing facts at the moral level can underpin the same (...)
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  6.  47
    Justice in a Globalized World: A Normative Framework.Laura Valentini - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Are wealthy countries' duties towards developing countries grounded in justice or in weaker concerns of charity? Justice in a Globalized World offers both an in-depth critique of the most prominent philosophical answers to this question, and a distinctive approach for addressing it.
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  7.  40
    Respect for Persons and the Moral Force of Socially Constructed Norms.Laura Valentini - forthcoming - Noûs.
    When and why do socially constructed norms—including the laws of the land, norms of etiquette, and informal customs—generate moral obligations? I argue that the answer lies in the duty to respect others, specifically to give them what I call “agency respect.” This is the kind of respect that people are owed in light of how they exercise their agency. My central thesis is this: To the extent that (i) existing norms are underpinned by people’s commitments as agents and (ii) they (...)
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  8. Global Justice and Practice‐Dependence: Conventionalism, Institutionalism, Functionalism.Laura Valentini - 2011 - Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (4):399-418.
  9. " Measuring Justice: Primary Goods and Capabilities," Harry Brighouse and Ingrid Robeyns, Eds. [REVIEW]Laura Valentini - 2011 - Ethics and International Affairs 25 (1).
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  10. A Paradigm Shift in Theorizing About Justice? A Critique of Sen: Laura Valentini.Laura Valentini - 2011 - Economics and Philosophy 27 (3):297-315.
    In his recent book The Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen suggests that political philosophy should move beyond the dominant, Rawls-inspired, methodological paradigm – what Sen calls ‘transcendental institutionalism’ – towards a more practically oriented approach to justice: ‘realization-focused comparison’. In this article, I argue that Sen's call for a paradigm shift in thinking about justice is unwarranted. I show that his criticisms of the Rawlsian approach are either based on misunderstandings, or correct but of little consequence, and conclude that the (...)
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  11.  12
    On the Apparent Paradox of Ideal Theory.Laura Valentini - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (3):332-355.
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  12. Egalitarian Challenges to Global Egalitarianism: A Critique.Christian Barry & Laura Valentini - 2009 - Review of International Studies 35:485-512.
    Many political theorists defend the view that egalitarian justice should extend from the domestic to the global arena. Despite its intuitive appeal, this ‘global egalitarianism’ has come under attack from different quarters. In this article, we focus on one particular set of challenges to this view: those advanced by domestic egalitarians. We consider seven types of challenges, each pointing to a specific disanalogy between domestic and global arenas which is said to justify the restriction of egalitarian justice to the former, (...)
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  13.  11
    The Case for Ideal Theory.Laura Valentini - 2018 - In Robyn Eckersley & Chris Brown (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory. New York, NY, USA: pp. 664-676.
  14. On the Meta-Ethical Status of Constructivism: Reflections on G.A. Cohen's `Facts and Principles'.Miriam Ronzoni & Laura Valentini - 2008 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (4):403-422.
    The Queen's College, Oxford, UK In his article `Facts and Principles', G.A. Cohen attempts to refute constructivist approaches to justification by showing that, contrary to what their proponents claim, fundamental normative principles are fact- in sensitive. We argue that Cohen's `fact-insensitivity thesis' does not provide a successful refutation of constructivism because it pertains to an area of meta-ethics which differs from the one tackled by constructivists. While Cohen's thesis concerns the logical structure of normative principles, constructivists ask how normative principles (...)
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  15.  9
    Human Rights, the Political View, and TNCs: An Exploration.Laura Valentini - 2018 - In Tom Campbell & Kylie Bourne (eds.), Political and Legal Approaches to Human Rights. London, UK: pp. 168-86.
    A recently developed view in political theory holds that only political agents, particularly states, can be primary bearers of human-rights duties. Problematically, this so-called ‘political view’ appears unable to account for the human-rights responsibilities of powerful non-state actors, such as transnational corporations (TNCs). Can a recognizably political view respond to this concern? I show that, once the moral underpinnings of the political view are made explicit, it can. I suggest that, on the political view, what makes states primary bearers of (...)
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  16.  9
    Political Theory.Christian List & Laura Valentini - unknown
    Political theory, sometimes also called “normative political theory”, is a subfield of the disciplines of philosophy and political science that addresses conceptual, normative, and evaluative questions concerning politics and society, broadly construed. Examples are: When is a society just? What does it mean for its members to be free? When is one distribution of goods socially preferable to another? What makes a political authority legitimate? How should we trade off different values, such as liberty, prosperity, and security, against one another? (...)
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  17. The Methodology of Political Theory.Christian List & Laura Valentini - 2016 - In Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.
    This article examines the methodology of a core branch of contemporary political theory or philosophy: “analytic” political theory. After distinguishing political theory from related fields, such as political science, moral philosophy, and legal theory, the article discusses the analysis of political concepts. It then turns to the notions of principles and theories, as distinct from concepts, and reviews the methods of assessing such principles and theories, for the purpose of justifying or criticizing them. Finally, it looks at a recent debate (...)
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  18. Coercion and Justice.Laura Valentini - 2011 - American Political Science Review 105 (1):205-220.
    In this article, I develop a new account of the liberal view that principles of justice are meant to justify state coercion, and consider its implications for the question of global socioeconomic justice. Although contemporary proponents of this view deny that principles of socioeconomic justice apply globally, on my newly developed account this conclusion is mistaken. I distinguish between two types of coercion, systemic and interactional, and argue that a plausible theory of global justice should contain principles justifying both. The (...)
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  19.  73
    On the Distinctive Procedural Wrong of Colonialism.Laura Valentini - 2015 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 43 (4):312-331.
  20. Proxy Battles in the Ethics of War.Seth Lazar & Laura Valentini - 2017 - In David Sobel, Peter Vallentyne & Steven Wall (eds.), Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy: Volume 3. London, U.K.: Oxford University Press. pp. 166-193.
  21.  14
    Microfinance, Poverty Relief, and Political Justice.Miriam Ronzoni & Laura Valentini - 2015 - In Luis Cabrera & Tom Sorell (eds.), Microfinance, Rights and Global Justice. Cambridge, UK: pp. 84-104.
  22.  10
    Justice, Disagreement, and Democracy.Laura Valentini - 2013 - British Journal of Political Science 43 (1):177-99.
    Is democracy a requirement of justice or an instrument for realizing it? The correct answer to this question, I argue, depends on the background circumstances against which democracy is defended. In the presence of thin reasonable disagreement about justice, we should value democracy only instrumentally (if at all); in the presence of thick reasonable disagreement about justice, we should value it also intrinsically, as a necessary demand of justice. Since the latter type of disagreement is pervasive in real-world politics, I (...)
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  23.  11
    Canine Justice: An Associative Account.Laura Valentini - 2014 - Political Studies 62 (1):37-52.
    A prominent view in contemporary political theory, the ‘associative view’, says that duties of justice are triggered by particular cooperative relations between morally significant agents, and that ‘therefore’ principles of justice apply only among fellow citizens. This view has been challenged by advocates of global justice, who point to the existence of a world-wide cooperative network to which principles of justice apply. Call this the challenge from geographical extension. In this paper, I pose a structurally similar challenge to the associative (...)
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  24.  13
    Just War and Global Distributive Justice.Laura Valentini - 2016 - In Pietro Maffettone & David Held (eds.), Global Political Theory. Cambridge, UK: pp. 143-57.
  25.  71
    Kant, Ripstein and the Circle of Freedom: A Critical Note.Laura Valentini - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):450-459.
    Much contemporary political philosophy claims to be Kant-inspired, but its aims and method differ from Kant's own. In his recent book, Force and Freedom, Arthur Ripstein advocates a more orthodox Kantian outlook, presenting it as superior to dominant (Kant-inspired) views. The most striking feature of this outlook is its attempt to ground the whole of political morality in one right: the right to freedom, understood as the right to be independent of others’ choices. Is Ripstein's Kantian project successful? In this (...)
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  26.  58
    Assessing the Global Order: Justice, Legitimacy, or Political Justice?Laura Valentini - 2012 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (5):593-612.
    Which standards should we employ to evaluate the global order? Should they be standards of justice or standards of legitimacy? In this article, I argue that liberal political theorists need not face this dilemma, because liberal justice and legitimacy are not distinct values. Rather, they indicate what the same value, i.e. equal respect for persons, demands of institutions under different sets of circumstances. I suggest that under real-world circumstances? characterized by conflicts and disagreements? equal respect demands basic-rights protection and democratic (...)
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  27.  12
    In What Sense Are Human Rights Political.Laura Valentini - 2012 - Political Studies 60 (1):180-94.
    Philosophical discussion of human rights has long been monopolised by what might be called the ‘natural-law view’. On this view, human rights are fundamental moral rights which people enjoy solely by virtue of their humanity. In recent years, a number of theorists have started to question the validity of this outlook, advocating instead what they call a ‘political’ view. My aim in this article is to explore the latter view in order to establish whether it constitutes a valuable alternative to (...)
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  28.  12
    On the Messy “Utopophobia Vs Factophobia” Controversy.Laura Valentini - 2017 - In Kevin Vallier & Michael Weber (eds.), Political Utopias. New York, NY, USA: pp. 11-31.
    In recent years, political philosophers have been fiercely arguing over the virtues and vices of utopian vs realistic theorizing. Partly due to the lack of a common and consistently used vocabulary, these debates have become rather confusing. In this chapter, I attempt to bring some clarity to them and, in doing so, I offer a conciliatory perspective on the “utopian vs realistic theorizing” controversy. I argue that, once the notion of a normative or evaluative theory is clearly defined and distinguished (...)
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  29.  55
    Human Rights, Freedom, and Political Authority.Laura Valentini - 2012 - Political Theory 40 (5):573-601.
    In this article, I sketch a Kant-inspired liberal account of human rights: the freedom-centred view. This account conceptualizes human rights as entitlements that any political authority—any state in the first instance—must secure to qualify as a guarantor of its subjects' innate right to freedom. On this picture, when a state (or state-like institution) protects human rights, it reasonably qualifies as a moral agent to be treated with respect. By contrast, when a state (or state-like institution) fails to protect human rights, (...)
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  30.  46
    The Content-Independence of Political Obligation: What It is and How to Test It.Laura Valentini - 2018 - Legal Theory 24 (2):135-157.
    One of the distinctive features of the obligation to obey the law is its content-independence. We ought to do what the law commands because the law commands it, and not because of the law's content—i.e., the independent merits of the actions it prescribes. Despite its popularity, the notion of content-independence is marked by ambiguity. In this paper, I first clarify what content-independence is. I then develop a simple test—the “content-independence test”—which allows us to establish whether any candidate justification of the (...)
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  31.  11
    Social Samaritan Justice: When and Why Needy Fellow Citizens Have a Right to Assistance.Laura Valentini - 2015 - American Political Science Review 109 (4):735-749.
    In late 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the U.S., causing much suffering and devastation. Those who could have easily helped Sandy’s victims had a duty to do so. But was this a rightfully enforceable duty of justice, or a non-enforceable duty of beneficence? The answer to this question is often thought to depend on the kind of help offered: the provision of immediate bodily services is not enforceable; the transfer of material resources is. I argue that this (...)
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  32.  10
    Cosmopolitan Justice and Rightful Enforceability.Laura Valentini - 2013 - In Gillian Brock (ed.), Cosmopolitanism versus Non-cosmopolitanism. New York: pp. 92-100.
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  33.  10
    Justice, Charity, and Disaster Relief: What, If Anything, Is Owed to Haiti, Japan and New Zealand?Laura Valentini - 2013 - American Journal of Political Science 57 (2):491-503.
    Whenever fellow humans suffer due to natural catastrophes, we have a duty to help them. This duty is not only acknowledged in moral theory, but also expressed in ordinary people’s reactions to phenomena such as tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Despite being widely acknowledged, this duty is also widely disputed: some believe it is a matter of justice, others a matter of charity. Although central to debates in international political theory, the distinction between justice and charity is hardly ever systematically drawn. (...)
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  34.  10
    No Global Demos, No Global Democracy? A Systematization and Critique.Laura Valentini - 2014 - Perspectives on Politics 12 (4):789-807.
    A globalized world, some argue, needs a global democracy. But there is considerable disagreement about whether global democracy is an ideal worth pursuing. One of the main grounds for scepticism is captured by the slogan: “No global demos, no global democracy.” The fact that a key precondition of democracy—a demos—is absent at the global level, some argue, speaks against the pursuit of global democracy. The paper discusses four interpretations of the skeptical slogan—each based on a specific account of the notion (...)
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  35.  10
    Arguing for Assistance-Based Responsibilities: Are Intuitions Enough?Laura Valentini - 2019 - Ethics and Global Politics 12 (1):24-32.
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  36.  69
    The Natural Duty of Justice in Non-Ideal Circumstances: On the Moral Demands of Institution Building and Reform.Laura Valentini - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory:147488511774209.
    Principles of distributive justice bind macro-level institutional agents, like the state. But what does justice require in non-ideal circumstances, where institutional agents are unjust or do not e...
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  37.  9
    Global Justice and Non-Domination.Julian Culp, Miriam Ronzoni, Tamara Jugov & Laura Valentini - 2016 - Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric 9 (1).
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  38.  39
    On the Value of Constitutions and Judicial Review.Laura Valentini - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (4):817-832.
    In his thought-provoking book, Why Law Matters, Alon Harel defends two key claims: one ontological, the other axiological. First, he argues that constitutions and judicial review are necessary constituents of a just society. Second, he suggests that these institutions are not only means to the realization of worthy ends, but also non-instrumentally valuable. I agree with Harel that constitutions and judicial review have more than instrumental value, but I am not persuaded by his arguments in support of this conclusion. I (...)
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  39.  32
    II- What's Wrong with Being Lonely? Justice, Beneficence, and Meaningful Relatopnships.Laura Valentini - 2016 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (1):49-69.
    A life without liberty and material resources is not a good life. Equally, a life devoid of meaningful social relationships—such as friendships, family attachments, and romances—is not a good life. From this it is tempting to conclude that just as individuals have rights to liberty and material resources, they also have rights to access meaningful social relationships. I argue that this conclusion can be defended only in a narrow set of cases. ‘Pure’ social relationship deprivation—that is, deprivation that is not (...)
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  40.  15
    On the Justification of Basic Rights.Laura Valentini - 2016 - Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy 45 (3):52-63.
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  41.  75
    On the Duty to Withhold Global Aid Now to Save More Lives in the Future.Laura Valentini - 2011 - Ethics and Global Politics 4 (2):125-34.
    The world is riddled with human suffering, poverty, and destitution. In the face of this moral tragedy, the least that the global wealthy can do is try to support aid programs aimed at relieving the plight of the very poor. Many political leaders, pop stars, and religious personalities have realized this, and routinely urge us to be more sensitive to the conditions of the distant needy. Giving aid thus seems to be one of the most important moral imperatives of our (...)
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  42.  32
    Interactive Justice, the Boundary Problem, and Proportionality.Laura Valentini - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (4):466-472.
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  43.  17
    Human Rights and Discourse Theory: Some Critical Remarks.Laura Valentini - 2014 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (6):674-680.
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  44.  32
    Dignity and Human Rights: A Reconceptualisation.Laura Valentini - 2017 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 37 (4):862-885.
    Human rights are often defined as entitlements that human beings possess just by virtue of their inherent dignity. This conceptual link between human rights and inherent dignity is as popular as it is unhelpful. It invites metaphysical disputes about what, exactly, endows human beings with inherent dignity, and distracts from the core function of human rights: placing constraints on powerful actors, especially states. In response to this difficulty, I reconceptualize the relationship between human rights and dignity in a way that (...)
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  45. Gillian Brock, Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN-10: 0199230943. £22.50 , £60. [REVIEW]Laura Valentini - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):251-252.
  46.  30
    Ethics for a Broken World: Imagining Philosophy After Catastrophe, by Tim Mulgan.: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Laura Valentini - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):1161-1164.
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  47.  29
    Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights Rowan Cruft, S. Matthew Liao & Massimo Renzo , 2015 Oxford, Oxford University Press, Xiii 720 Pp., £39.99. [REVIEW]Laura Valentini - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (3).
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  48.  6
    Social Liberal or Cosmopolitan? [REVIEW]Laura Valentini - 2009 - Global Justice Theory Practice Rhetoric 2:50-53.
    Review: David Miller, National Responsibility and Global Justice, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007.
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  49.  10
    Climate Justice.Julian Culp, Tamara Jugov, Miriam Ronzoni & Laura Valentini - 2015 - Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric 8 (2).
  50.  19
    Two Pictures of the Global-Justice Debate: A Reply to Tan.Laura Valentini - 2014 - Law Ethics and Philosophy 2:219-26.
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