Edited by Jorge L. Fabra-Zamora
Chapter 10: Cosmopolitan legitimacy
Is global justice independent of borders? Many theorists take a ‘global view’ of justice and believe that borders are irrelevant to questions of distribution. Others take a ‘political view’ and argue that institutions of self-government divide the world up into different domains of distributive justice. This chapter defends the political view by focusing on the issue of the legitimacy of self-government. Imposing one’s own view of social justice on a self-governing political society is a usurpation of that society’s functions. It shows lack of respect for its members as citizens. These conclusions follow from the argument offered by Kant for the priority of ‘constitutional justice’ as a precondition of any just distribution. Legitimacy applies to the international domain in exactly the same way that it does in the domestic case.
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