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  • Part II Paper 10: Political Philosophy / Global

    Justice: Lecture 4: The Law of Peoples

    Chris Thompson cjt68@cam.ac.uk

    1

  • Overview of the lectures

    1. Global poverty 2. Cosmopolitan theories 3. NaConalisCc theories 4. The law of peoples

    2

  • Overview of the lectures

    1. Global poverty 2. Cosmopolitan theories 3. NaConalisCc theories 4. The law of peoples

    3

  • Readings

    RAWLS, J., The Law of Peoples (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999). [Parts 1 & 2, S15,16]

    MARTIN, R. & REIDY, D.A. (eds.) Rawlss Law of Peoples (Blackwell, 2006) [various secondary readings]

    4

  • Summary

    1. Background The problem of poverty NaConalisCc resistance Cosmopolitanism (via Rawls ToJ)

    2. The Law of Peoples The Original PosiCon for Peoples The Veil of Ignorance The Eight Principles Decent Peoples Global JusCce

    5

  • Summary

    1. Background The problem of poverty NaConalisCc resistance Cosmopolitanism (via Rawls ToJ)

    2. The Law of Peoples The Original PosiCon for Peoples The Veil of Ignorance The Eight Principles Decent Peoples Global JusCce

    6

  • 1. Background

    We have a clash between two claims: 1. Liberal theories of jusCce are worked out

    with reference to a limited poliCcal community.

    2. Liberal theories of jusCce do not consider arbitrary facts such as gender or race to carry moral significance.

    7

  • 1. Background

    Cosmopolitanism accept (2), dismiss (1). NaConalism accept (1), dismiss (2). Law of Peoples - somewhere between (1) and (2).

    8

  • 1. Background

    Cosmopolitanism accept (2), dismiss (1). NaConalism accept (1), dismiss (2). Law of Peoples - somewhere between (1) and (2).

    9

  • 1. Background

    The problem of global poverty 1/3 of all human deaths are due to poverty (18m,pa).

    1/4 of all people live below the internaConal poverty line (enough for a nutriConally adequate diet and essenCal non-food items).

    1/6 without access to safe water. 1/3 without access to basic sanitaCon. 1/3 without access to electricity.

    10

  • 1. Background

    The problem of global poverty DfID has a target of spending 0.7% of GDP on overseas development aid.

    And yet* 70% of people think aid should be scaled back 64% of people think its wrong to ring-fence aid from cuts

    *ICM survey via Sunday Telegraph

    11

  • 1. Background - NaConalism

    12

    Self

    Family

    Friends

    Co-naConals

    Foreigners

  • 1. Background - NaConalism

    1. RelaConships are an essenCal feature of moral agents. (Miller) This contrasts with the Rawlsian Original PosiCon, where the Veil of Ignorance strips these features away.

    2. Contractualist jusCficaCon for special duCes. NaCons are like mutual benefit socieCes. But what about people who dont contribute?

    13

  • 1. Background - NaConalism

    3. Social boundaries are a convenient mechanism for allocaCng general duCes. Help the person standing next to you.

    4. The bonds we feel for friends and family are brute data. Any moral theory that ignores them is implausible. But we sCll need a jusCficaCon for the more distant bonds of society.

    14

  • 1. Background - Cosmopolitan

    Rawls Jus2ce as Fairness is the classic liberal theory.

    People do not deserve to be born rich or poor; male or female; black or white As such, these features are morally arbitrary, and the resources that flow from them are not deserved.

    15

  • 1. Background - Cosmopolitan

    The country you are born into seems every bit as arbitrary and therefore morally irrelevant as the race or social class you are born into.

    The Veil of Ignorance would strip naConality from agents in the Original PosiCon.

    Agents would know that they would be born into a parCcular naCon, but not know which one.

    If agents would not want social circumstances to impact on their wellbeing, they would not want their naCon of birth to maper either.

    16

  • 1. Background - Cosmopolitan

    Of greatest interest is the Difference Principle: Social and economic inequaliCes are to be arranged so that they are both to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged, consistent with the just saving principle.

    This would oblige us to maximise the wellbeing not of the worst-off members of our own naCon but to maximise the wellbeing of the worst-off people in the world.

    17

  • 1. Background - Cosmopolitan

    BUT Rawls did NOT think that the Theory of JusCce applied across socieCes.

    The Theory of JusCce is only supposed to apply to self-contained socieCes. Here I follow Kants lead in thinking that a world government by which I mean a unified poliCcal regime with the legal powers normally exercised by central government would either be a global despoCsm or else would rule over a fragile empire torn by frequent civil strife as various regions and peoples tried to gain their poliCcal freedom and autonomy (p.36)

    As such, the agents in a global theory of jusCce are not individuals but Peoples.

    18

  • Summary

    1. Background The problem of poverty NaConalisCc resistance Cosmopolitanism (via Rawls ToJ)

    2. The Law of Peoples The Original PosiCon for Peoples The Veil of Ignorance The Eight Principles Decent Peoples Global JusCce

    19

  • Summary

    1. Background The problem of poverty NaConalisCc resistance Cosmopolitanism (via Rawls ToJ)

    2. The Law of Peoples The Original PosiCon for Peoples The Veil of Ignorance The Eight Principles Decent Peoples Global JusCce

    20

  • 2. The Law of Peoples The Original PosiCon

    Theory of Jus,ce We imagine a situaCon is

    which all the parCcipants in a given society must come together to decide on the insCtuCons that will govern that society.

    ParCcipants are free and equal individuals.

    Reasonable pluralism of views of the good life.

    Persons fundamental interests are given by their concepCon of the good.

    Law of Peoples We imagine a situaCon in

    which parCcipants must come together to establish the laws that will govern the basic structure of the relaCons between Peoples.

    ParCcipants are free and equal Peoples (c.f. liberal, democraCc socieCes)

    Diversity of cultures. Peoples fundamental interests

    specified by their poliCcal concepCon of jusCce

    21

  • Summary

    1. Background The problem of poverty NaConalisCc resistance Cosmopolitanism (via Rawls ToJ)

    2. The Law of Peoples The Original PosiCon for Peoples The Veil of Ignorance The Eight Principles Decent Peoples Global JusCce

    22

  • 2. The Law of Peoples The Veil of Ignorance

    Theory of Jus,ce Strips agents in the Original

    PosiCon of all those accidental features that may generate biases.

    Agents do not know their: Race, sex, social status, religion,

    natural talents, view of the good life

    Agent do know that: There are races, sexes,different

    views of the good life. That society will operate under

    condiCons of moderate scarcity. Basic economics and psychology.

    Law of Peoples Strips Peoples in the second

    Original PosiCon of all those features which may create biases.

    Peoples dont know the size of their territory, of the populaCon, or the relaCve strengths of the people whose fundamental interests they represent,the extent of their natural resources, or the level of their economic development.

    23

  • Summary

    1. Background The problem of poverty NaConalisCc resistance Cosmopolitanism (via Rawls ToJ)

    2. The Law of Peoples The Original PosiCon for Peoples The Veil of Ignorance The Eight Principles Decent Peoples Global JusCce

    24

  • 2. The Law of Peoples Principles agreed in the OP

    Theory of Jus,ce The Principles of JusCce 1. Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberCes compaCble with a similar system of liberty for all. 2. Social and economic inequaliCes are to be arranged so that they are both: a. to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged, consistent with the just savings principle; and b. apached to office and posiCons open to all under condiCons of fair equality of opportunity.

    Law of Peoples The Principles of the Law of Peoples

    1. Peoples are free and independent, and their freedom and independence are to be respected by other peoples

    2. Peoples are to observe treaCes and undertakings 3. Peoples are equal and are parCes to the agreements that bind them

    4. People are to observe a duty of non-intervenCon 5. Peoples have the right of self-defence but no right to insCgate war for reasons other than self-defence

    6. Peoples are to honour human rights 7. peoples are to observe certain specified restricCons on the conduct of war

    8. Peoples have a duty to assist other peoples living under unfavourable condiCons that prevent their having a just or decent poliCcal and social regime

    25

  • 2. The Law of Peoples

    Why wouldnt Peoples in the second Original PosiCon accept the Difference Principle?

    Recall that the Difference Principle states that departures from equality are permissible provided that these benefit the worst-off.

    Peoples would not be prepared to sacrifice their well-being for the sake of others, where there is no cooperaCve venture for mutual adv