Equality and Global Justice: Tracing the Scope and Grounds of Egalitarianism
distributive justice , global justice , political philosophy , egalitarianism
In this thesis, I examine the nature of egalitarian theories of distributive justice and their applicability to the global realm. I begin by laying out why it is that equality matters and how it is that we ought to understand egalitarianism as a doctrine. In response to a series of objections to the aim of distributive equality, I maintain that we have strong reasons to value equality above and beyond simply ensuring that people have enough, and that the egalitarian aim properly conceived does not involve perverse consequences. I subsequently extend this understanding of the value of economic equality to the global context, and argue that the objectionable relations of power and domination that exist internationally point to the need to limit global inequalities. Finally, I conclude my discussion by forwarding a more in-depth account of the grounds of egalitarian justice, and by examining two internally egalitarian objections to global egalitarianism. Both of these objections, I argue, are most plausibly understood as entailing an expansion of egalitarian concern to the global realm. Given that the global economic order generates the conditions under which duties of egalitarian justice are triggered, I conclude that the proper scope of egalitarian justice is global.