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Title: Theories of global justice : relational and non-relational approaches
Author: Kime, Megan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 4196
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis evaluates two competing approaches to developing a theory of global justice. The relational approach grounds justice in features of relationships, associations, and common institutions. The non-relational approach, in contrast, grounds justice in universal features of human beings, considered apart from their relationships with others. Which of the two approaches we adopt will have implications for the resulting theory of justice (although the distinction between the two approaches does not map straightforwardly onto that between cosmopolitan and non-cosmopolitan theories of global justice). David Miller's liberal nationalist (and non-cosmopolitan) theory of justice is a prominent example of the relational approach. Miller support a sufficiency based conception of justice at the global level, but restricts stronger egalitarian principles of justice to the domestic sphere. Brian Barry's cosmopolitan theory of justice is a prominent example of the non-relational approach. Barry supports egalitarian principles of justice at the global level. Given certain assumptions shared by parties to the current debate within political philosophy, we can expect any reasonable theory of global justice to be able to support some minimal conception of human rights. Miller's theory fails to do this, for reasons that stem from his adoption of the relational approach. The relational approach also suffers from many other problems, including a lack of objectivity and a tendency towards conservatism. The non-relational approach, as represented by Barry, does not suffer from equivalent problems, and should therefore be seen as preferable.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available