In his recent book, National responsibility and global justice, David Miller conceptualizes and justifies a model of national responsibility. His conceptualization proceeds in two steps: he starts by developing two models of collective responsibility, the like?minded group model and the cooperative practice model. He then proceeds to discuss national responsibility, a species of collective responsibility, and argues that nations have features such that the two models of collective responsibility also apply to them. In this article I focus on the question (...) whether Miller?s like?minded group model and the cooperative practice model are plausible and convincing models of collective responsibility. I will argue that the like?minded model does not provide a plausible conceptualization of collective responsibility, while the collective practice model provides a good model for collective responsibility but is not particularly helpful in conceptualizing national responsibility. (shrink)
The 2015 Disneyland outbreak of measles in the US unequivocally brought to light what had been brewing below the surface for a while: a slow but steady decline in vaccination rates resulting in a rising number of outbreaks. This can be traced back to an increasing public questioning of vaccines by an emerging anti-vaccination movement. This article argues that, in the face of diminishing vaccination rates, childhood vaccinations should not be seen as part of the domain of parental choice but, (...) instead, as a non-negotiable legal obligation. The first part of the article formulates and defends two arguments in favour of unqualified mandatory childhood vaccination laws. First, government should not permit parents to put their children at avoidable risk of death and suffering; second, government should guard the common good of herd immunity to protect vulnerable persons. The second part rejects legal and pragmatic objections against such mandatory vaccination laws. (shrink)
This paper reinvestigates the question of liberal neutrality. We contend that current liberal discussions have been dominated—if not hijacked—by one particular interpretation of what neutrality could imply: namely, exclusive neutrality, aiming to exclude religious and cultural expressions from the public sphere. We will argue that this is merely one among several relevant interpretations. To substantiate our claim, we will first elaborate upon inclusive neutrality by formulating two supplementary interpretations: proportional neutrality and compensatory neutrality. Second, we will argue that inclusive proportional (...) neutrality is the most appropriate interpretation in many contexts. Our discussion highlights the fact that some political disputes should not be seen in terms of the antithesis between liberal neutrality and illiberal alternatives but, instead, as a clash between various valid but incompatible interpretations of what liberal neutrality may imply. (shrink)
How should liberal-democratic governments deal with emerging vaccination hesitancy when that leads to the resurgence of diseases that for decades were under control? This article argues that vaccination policies should be justified in terms of a proper weighing of the rights of children to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases and the rights of parents to raise their children in ways that they see fit. The argument starts from the concept of the ‘best interests of the child involved’. The concept is (...) elaborated for this context into the dual regime structure in which parents have fiduciary authority over what they consider to be best for their child, and the state has fiduciary authority over a child’s basic interests. This argument leads to conditional mandatory vaccination programs that should be informed by a correct balancing of the two legal principles of proportionality and precaution. This results in contextual childhood vaccination policies of upscaling interference: a three-tiered approach of increased intrusion, from voluntary program when possible and mandatory or even compulsory programs when necessary to protect the child’s basic interests. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to present a conceptualization of cultural groups and cultural difference that provides a middle course between the Scylla of essentialism and the Charybdis of reductionism. The method I employ is the social mechanism approach. I argue that cultural groups and cultural difference should be understood as the result of cognitive and social processes of categorization. I describe two such processes in particular: categorization by others and self- categorization. Categorization by others is caused by processes (...) of ascription: the attribution by outsiders of certain characteristics, beliefs, and practices to indi- viduals who share a specific attribute. Self-categorization is caused by processes of inscription and community-building: the adoption of certain beliefs and practices as a result of socialization and enculturation. I therefore shift the focus from groups to categories, and from categories to processes of categorization. I show that this analytical distinction between categorization by others and self-categorization can clarify an ambiguity in dominant debates in contemporary multiculturalism. I conclude by indicating how injustices, commonly associated with multiculturalism, can better be understood as socially generated injustices, and how government should deal with these injustices. (shrink)
Two of the most important theories in contemporary liberal egalitarianism are Ronald Dworkin’s equality of resources and Amartya Sen’s capability approach. Recently Dworkin has claimed that Sen’s capability approach does not provide a genuine alternative to equality of resources. In this article, we provide both an internal and an external critique of Dworkin’s claim. In the first part of the article we develop an internal critique by providing a detailed analysis of Dworkin’s claim. Andrew Williams has contested Dworkin’s claim, but (...) he has failed to convince Dworkin of his objections. We analyze this debate, and offer an argument that, we hope, settles this dispute. In the second part of the article we argue that an analysis beyond the current parameters of the liberal-egalitarian debate points to three significant differences between Dworkin’s and Sen’s egalitarian theories: the degree to which they rely on an ideal-theoretical approach; their ability to judge social structures that are intertwined with people’s social endowments; and their endorsement of a well-defined criterion to demarcate morally relevant from morally irrelevant inequalities. This broader analysis not only reinforces our conclusion that Dworkin’s equality of resources and Sen’s capability approach are genuinely distinct, but it also suggests some more general insights that may be relevant for a better understanding of contemporary egalitarian thinking. (shrink)
In this article we present a conceptual overview of relevant interpretations of what state neutrality may imply; we suggest a distinction between inclusive neutrality and exclusive neutrality. This distinction provides a useful framework for understanding the several positions as presented by the parties in the Lautsi case. We conclude by suggesting a solution of the Lautsi case that might provide a more viable solution.
Along with the exploding attention to globalization, issues of global justice have become central elements in political philosophy. After decades in which debates were dominated by a state-centric paradigm, current debates in political philosophy also address issues of global inequality, global poverty, and the moral foundations of international law. As recent events have demonstrated, these issues also play an important role in the practice of international law. In fields such as peace and security, economic integration, environmental law, and human rights, (...) international lawyers are constantly confronted with questions of global justice and international legitimacy. This special issue contains four papers which address an important element of this emerging debate on cosmopolitan global justice, with much relevance for international law: the principle of sovereign equality, global economic inequality, and environmental law. (shrink)
Is it possible and desirable to translate the basic principles underlying cosmopolitanism as a moral standard into eff ective global institutions? Will the ideals of inclusiveness and equal moral concern for all survive the marriage between cosmopolitanism and institutional power? What are the eff ects of such bureaucratization of cosmopolitan ideals? Th is book examines the strained relationship between cosmopolitanism as a moral standard and the legal institutions in which cosmopolitan norms and principles are to be implemented. Five areas of (...) global concern are analyzed: environmental protection; economic regulation; peace and security; the fight against international crimes; and migration. -/- . (shrink)
Differences in socioeconomic and infrastructural elements among nations, differing conceptions about childhood, and the failure to distinguish between child work and child labor render a simple ban on child labor abroad idealistic and impractical.
As a broad concept, 'globalization' denotes the declining significance of national boundaries. At a deeper level, globalization is the proposition that nation-states are losing the power to control what occurs within their borders and that what transpires across borders is rising in relative significance. The Ethical Dimensions of Global Development: An Introduction, the fifth book in Rowman & Littlefield's Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy Studies series, discusses key questions concerning globalization and its implications, including: Can general ethical principles be (...) brought to bear on questions of globalization? Do economic development and self-government require a duty of care? Is economic destiny crucial to individual autonomy? This collection provides readers with current information and useful insights into this complex topic. (shrink)