Globalisation and Global Justice - A Thematic Introduction
AbstractGlobalisation involves both promising potentials and risks. It has the potential – through the spread of human rights, the migration of people and ideas, and the integration of diverse economies – to improve human wellbeing and enhance the protection of human rights worldwide. But globalisation also incurs risks: global environmental risks (such as global warming), the creation of new centres of power with limited legitimacy, a ‘race to the bottom’ regarding workers’ safety and rights, risky journeys of thousands of migrants and not least growing global inequalities. Globalisation, therefore, is a key factor for today’s discussions of justice.
As globalisation connects people, it also raises associated responsibilities between them. Until recently, the interest in justice among political philosophers and social ethicists was mainly focused on the nation state. However, this is no longer feasible. Since economic globalisation affects how wealth and power are distributed globally it has become indispensable to discuss social ethics in a global context and to develop principles of global justice. Global justice, therefore, entails an assessment of the benefits and burdens of the structural relations and institutional arrangements that constitute and govern globalisation.
The academic discussion of global justice is vibrant and expanding. In my introduction I provide an overview of the discussions on global poverty, justice, cosmopolitanism and statism, migration, the capability approach and different dimensions of global justice.
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