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Reglitz, Merten
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: B1, JC
In this thesis I defend the principle of global egalitarianism. According to this\ud idea most of the existing detrimental inequalities in this world are morally\ud objectionable. As detrimental inequalities I understand those that are not to the\ud benefit of the worst off people and that can be non-wastefully removed.\ud To begin with, I consider various justifications of the idea that only those\ud detrimental inequalities that occur within one and the same state are morally\ud objectionable. I identify Thomas Nagel’s approach as the most promising\ud defence of this traditional position. However, I also show that Nagel’s argument\ud does not even justify the elimination of detrimental inequalities (that is to say:\ud egalitarian duties of justice) within states. A discussion of the concept of\ud political legitimacy rather shows that egalitarian justice is not a necessary\ud condition of the justifiability of the exercise of coercive political power.\ud I, then, consider other, more Rawlsian approaches to the question of\ud detrimental inequalities. These views appear more plausible than Nagel’s\ud position and argue that egalitarian duties also arise in certain international\ud contexts. But also these more global theories of distributive justice suffer from shortcomings. Since they make the application of duties of justice dependent on\ud the existence of social practices they cannot adequately account for the justified\ud interests of non-participants that are affected by these practices.\ud The counter-intuitive implications of practice-dependent theories lead me\ud to investigate the plausibility of a theory that does not limit justice to existing\ud practices and that argues for the inherent value of equality. This theory is global\ud egalitarianism. I defend global egalitarianism by debilitating three objections\ud that opponents of this idea frequently (but often not clearly) present in the\ud relevant literature.\ud Finally I also address two particular objections to the idea that global\ud egalitarian duties are institutionalizable with the help of coercive global\ud authorities.
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