A feminist argument against statism: public and private in theories of global justice

Journal of Global Ethics 10 (1):56-70 (2014)
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Cosmopolitanism and statism represent the two dominant liberal theoretical standpoints in the current debate on global distributive justice. In this paper, I will develop a feminist argument that recommends that statist approaches be rejected. This argument has its roots in the feminist critique of liberal theories of social justice. In Justice, Gender, and the Family Susan Moller Okin argues that many liberal egalitarian theories of justice are inadequate because they assume a strict division between public and private spheres. I will argue that this inadequacy is replicated in statist approaches to global justice. To demonstrate this, I will show how an analogue of Okin's critique of Rawls's A Theory of Justice can be extended to his The Law of Peoples. I will conclude that statist theories inevitably assume a strong divide between public and private spheres and that by doing so they allow for situations marked by gross injustice which anyone concerned with the welfare of the world's most vulnerable should find unacceptable.



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Angie Pepper
University of Roehampton

Citations of this work

Development and global ethics: five foci for the future.David A. Crocker - 2014 - Journal of Global Ethics 10 (3):245-253.

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
The law of peoples.John Rawls - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Edited by John Rawls.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

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