From Crisis to Supranational Integration
New Directions in Modern Economics series
Today when people talk about international solidarity two situations usually come to their minds: the first is the policy of international aid from developed to underdeveloped countries; the second is spontaneous solidarity among peoples of different countries on the occasion of natural disasters – famine, tsunamis, epidemic diseases – or tragedies caused by human beings, such as wars and genocides. These instances of international solidarity are often criticized for their occasional nature. Among contemporary philosophers a debate has been enlivened by scholars who support the need to go over the limited notion of international solidarity among closed national societies, which provide solidarity policies for fellow citizens, but are quite indifferent to individuals who live in conditions of extreme poverty in other states and other continents (Singer, 2002; Pogge, 2010). Other philosophers think that international solidarity, or international justice, cannot overcome the limits of international politics, which is founded on relationships among sovereign nation states. For instance, Thomas Nagel says that the way he deals with the problem of international ethics is similar to John Rawls’s The Law of Peoples, that is ‘the moral units of this international morality are not individual human beings but separate societies, or peoples’ (Nagel, 2010: 79) and for this reason he refutes the cosmopolitan notion of international justice. For cosmopolitan philosophers all human beings should be entitled to satisfy their basic needs, such as food, clean water, a decent shelter, and so on.
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