From Natural Law to Human Rights - Some Reflections on Thomas Pogge and Global Justice

Book chapter

Syse, Henrik (2005) From Natural Law to Human Rights - Some Reflections on Thomas Pogge and Global Justice, in Real World Justice. London (229–237).

Publisher's website

About this book

The concept of global justice makes visible how we citizens of affluent countries are potentially implicated in the horrors so many must endure in the so-called less developed countries.

Distinct conceptions of global justice differ in their specific criteria of global justice. However, they agree that the touchstone is how well our global institutional order is doing, compared to its feasible alternatives, in regard to the fundamental human interests that matter from a moral point of view.

We are responsible for global regimes such as the global trading system and the rules governing military interventions. These institutional arrangements affect human beings worldwide, for instance by shaping the options and incentives of governments and corporations. Alternative paths of globalization would have differed in how much violence, oppression, and extreme poverty they engender. And global institutional reforms could greatly enhance human rights fullfillment in the future.

The importance of this global justice approach reaches well beyond philosophy. It helps ordinary citizens evaluate their options and their responsibility for global institutional factors, and it challenges social scientists to address the causes of poverty and hunger that act across borders.

The present volume addresses four main topics regarding global justice: The normative grounds for claims regarding the global institutional order, the substantive normative principles for a legitimate global order, the roles of legal human rights standards, and some institutional arrangements that may make the present world order less unjust.

All royalties from this book have been assigned to Oxfam.Table of contents
Introduction; Andreas Follesdal and Thomas Pogge. Poverty and Global Justice: Some Challenges Ahead; Hilde F. Johnson. Justice, Morality and Power in the Global Context; Rainer Forst. "Saving Amina": Global Justice for Women and Intercultural Dialogue; Alison M. Jaggar. Poverty as a Human Rights Violation and the Limits of Nationalism; Geert Demuijnck. International or Global Justice? Evaluating the Cosmopolitan Approach; Thomas Mertens. Understanding and Evaluating the Contribution Principle; Christian Barry. World Poverty and Moral Responsibility; Ser-Min Shei. The Principle of Subsidiarity; Stefan Gosepath. "It’s the Power, Stupid!" On the Unmentioned Precondition of Social Justice; Alessandro Pinzani. Egalitarian Global Distributive Justice or Minimal Standard? Pogge’s Position; Véronique Zanetti. Responsibility and International Distributive Justice; Alexander Cappelen. From Natural Law to Human Rights — Some Reflections on Thomas Pogge and Global Justice; Henrik Syse. Deliberation or Negotiation? Remarks on the Justice of Global and Regional Human Rights Agreements; Regina Kreide. Human Rights and Relativism; Andreas Follesdal. The Nature of Human Rights; Leif Wenar. Severe Poverty as a Human Rights Violation — Weak and Strong; Wilfried Hinsch and Markus Stepanians. The First UN Millennium Development Goal: A Cause for Celebration? Thomas Pogge. Can Global Distributive Justice be Minimalist and Consensual? — Reflections on Thomas Pogge’s Global Tax on Natural Resources; Jean-Christophe Merle. Redistributing Responsibilities — The UN Global Compact with Corporations; Andrew Kuper. About the Authors. References.

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