Global Economy, Justice and Sustainability

Dower, Nigel
September 2004
Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Sep2004, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p399
Academic Journal
Although this paper attends to some extent to the question whether the global economy promotes or impedes either justice or sustainability, its main focus is on the relationship between justice and sustainability. Whilst sustainability itself as a normative goal is about sustaininginter aliajustice, justice itself requires intergenerationally the sustaining of the conditions of a good life for all. At the heart of this is a conception of justice as realising the basic rights of all-in contrast to a more demanding distributive principle or a less demanding principle of notviolatingthe liberty rights or other basic rights of others. Although Pogge’s analysis that the global economy causes harm by failing to realise basic rights is seen as a useful challenge to common libertarian assumptions, the acceptance of other positive correlative duties, following Shue, is advocated. Insofar as the global economy fails to realise basic justice, the question is ‘how farcanit realistically be changed?’ and this is a function partly of the moral attitudes of individuals at large.


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